Ex-AKP lawmaker Kuzu facing jail sentence over release of Iranian drug lord

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office on Friday requested a jail sentence of up to five years for former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Burhan Kuzu on charges of pressuring the judiciary for the release of an Iranian mobster from Turkish jail.

Kuzu is accused of exerting pressure on the judiciary for the release of Naji Sharifi Zindashti Zindashti, who was arrested in 2007 in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district in possession of 75 kilograms of heroin and later convicted.

Zindashti was mysteriously released in August 2010.

Kuzu has denied the charges, Hürriyet newspaper reported, citing the indictment.

The  Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK), a body inside the Justice Ministry that decides on the appointment, removal and transfer of judges and prosecutors, in February sent a document regarding allegations of pressure by the former AKP lawmaker on Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

If the indictment is accepted, Kuzu will face trial at Istanbul’s Criminal Court of First Instance, Hürriyet said.