The file on Bilal Erdoğan was opened by the Bologna public prosecutor after he was officially denounced by a key political opponent of the Turkish government for allegedly bringing large amounts of money to Italy last September. The accusation was made by the Turkish businessman and dissident Murat Hakan Uzan, who is in exile in France.
Uzun reportedly filed a complaint claiming that Bilal had contravened Italy’s financial laws by bringing large sums of undeclared money into the country.
In 2013 Bilal’s name came up in the massive corruption scandal involving senior officials from the AKP, reportedly involving a money laundering scheme enabling the bypass of US economic sanctions on Iran. 52 people were arrested in December 2013.
The release on YouTube of audio recordings in which President Erdoğan was allegedly heard telling his son Bilal to dispose of millions of dollars caused massive protests in Turkey in 2013. Erdoğan has claimed the recordings were falsified and father and son have denied all accusations.
According to reports, in the complaint filed this week the Bologna prosecutor, Massimiliano Annetta, claimed that €1bn is still unaccounted for due to corruption activities.
The news agency Ansa reported that Bilal Erdoğan is additionally under investigation for arriving in Bologna with an attachment of armed bodyguards who were not allowed into the country until they were provided with Turkish diplomatic passports.
According to The Independent, Giovanni Trombini, a Bologna-based lawyer representing Bilal, has declined to comment until the case against his client is clear. “I have nothing to say,” Giovanni Trombini said, further stating that “Trials should be held in court, not in the press.”