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Court accepts indictment seeking jail time for opposition’s Ankara mayoral candidate

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An Ankara court has accepted an indictment seeking three years’ imprisonment for the mayoral candidate of Turkey’s capital from the opposition alliance only three weeks before March 31 local elections, pro-government media outlets reported on Monday.

Mansur Yavaş, the former mayor of Ankara’s Beypazarı district, is accused of misconduct and committing fraud in an official document. The pro-government Sabah daily reported that a businessman named Necmettin Kesgin filed a complaint about Yavaş in December 2017 on allegations of blackmail.

Since Yavaş is also a member of the bar, the Ministry of Justice had to grant permission for any investigation into him. Prior to the elections the ministry allowed the investigation to proceed and the court accepted the indictment on March 8.

Yavaş said he would make a statement on Tuesday after the government brought up the allegations against him.

Yavaş ran against the former mayor from the governing party, Melih Gökçek, in a previous election and claimed that despite winning the vote, he lost due to fraud on the night of the election.

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