Bologna prosecutors drop case against Erdogan's son

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Bilal Erdogan pictured last year. Photo: AFP
09:56 CEST+02:00
Italian prosecutors have dropped a case against the son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for money laundering, they announced on Wednesday.

The request to drop the case due to lack of evidence was signed by Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Amato and prosecutors Antonella Scandellari and Manuela Cavallo, according to La Repubblica. It will now be passed to a judge for confirmation; however, this step is usually just a formality.

"The request gives us great satisfaction," Erdogan's defence lawyer Giovanni Trombini told the Italian daily. He said he had passed on the news to his client.

Bilal had denied allegations that he had fled to Italy after being implicated in a corruption scandal when the case opened back in February. He said the reason he had settled in the Mediterranean country on August 30th was to complete his PhD in international relations at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna.

An exiled Turkish businessman, Murat Hakan Uzan, opposed to the Erdogan government had accused Bilal of having arrived in Italy with large stashes of cash and a heavily-armed bodyguard unit that had travelled on diplomatic passports.

But President Erdogan warned prosecutors against taking action against his son, saying it could compromise Turkish-Italian relations and that Italian judges should be pursuing the mafia instead.

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That prompted a withering putdown from Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who tweeted: "In this country the judges follow the law and the Italian constitution, not the Turkish president. That's called 'the rule of law'."

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