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Turkish court accepts indictment against media mogul Doğan, İşbank chairman

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A Turkish court has accepted an indictment filed against Doğan Holding owner Aydın Doğan and İşbank Chairman Ersin Özince on charges of of involvement in a fuel-smuggling ring.

The Turkish media reported on Tuesday that the İstanbul 1st High Criminal Court accepted the indictment which lists 47 suspects, including Doğan and Özince. The first hearing in the trial is scheduled for July 13.

Last week, claims emerged in Turkish media accusing the founder of conglomerate Dogan Holding of involvement in a fuel-smuggling ring.

The Akşam daily, which is known to be close to the government, reported that the prosecutor is seeking a 23-year jail sentence for Doğan whose Doğan Holding owns also runs a major media group which includes the Hürriyet daily, broadcaster CNN Turk and mainstream television channel Kanal D.

The indictment reportedly accuses Özince, is accused of involvement in financing the smuggling ring between 2001 and 2007. İşbank, Turkey’s largest listed lender, is 28 percent owned by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The allegations date back to when Doğan Holding and İşbank were stakeholders in fuel distributor Petrol Ofisi, prior to its acquisition by Austrian company OMV in 2010.

The two companies both blasted the reports in statements. İşbank said allegations against its chairman do not reflect truth while Doğan Holding said the claims are “founded” and “slanders.”

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