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Italian prosecutors shelve case against Erdogan's son

22 settembre 2016 | 14.06
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Italian prosecutors have dropped a money laundering case against the son of Turkey's resident Recep Tayyip Erdogan due to a lack of evidence, their office said late Wednesday.

Prosecutors said their investigation had failed to corroborate allegations that millions of euros from kickbacks were brought to Italy from Turkey while Bilal Erdogan was studying for a PhD at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna.

"The request gives us great satisfaction," Erdogan's defence lawyer Giovanni Trombini said, adding that he had given the news to his client.

The decision has yet to be confirmed by a senior judge but that is usually a formality.

An exiled Turkish businessman and opponent of Erdogan, Murat Hakan Uzan, had accused 35-year-old Bilal of arriving in Italy with large amounts of cash and heavily-armed bodyguards who had travelled on diplomatic passports.

In a TV interview in August, Erdogan warned prosecutors against taking action against his son, saying the case could harm Turkish-Italian ties and that Italian judges should be "attending to the mafia".

Bilal Erdogan, who returned to Turkey in March "for security reasons" had denied all charges as completely unfounded.

When the case opened in Italy in February, he denied fleeing to Italy from Turkey last year September after being implicated in a corruption scandal.

In December 2013, shocking graft allegations emerged against Erdogan and his inner circle based on bugged conversations that enthralled Turkey.

Erdogan allegedly told Bilal to dispose of some 30 million euros in cash, according to leaked tapes that emerged in February 2014.

Erdogan has dismissed the recordings as a "vile montage".

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