This is a legal note, intended to show invalidity of the arguments filed by Fenerbahçe SK and its executives before UEFA Disciplinary Committee.
TURKISH COURT’S JUDGMENT IS CONCLUSIVE
The defendant attorneys argued that the Turkish court’s judgment was not conclusive and was pending at the Appeal Court. This is false in many aspects.
First of all, convictions regarding 19 defendants in the trial already became conclusive. They are not pending at the appellate level. They are all subject to “deferment of sentence”, an implicit admission of the guilt. Details on “deferment of sentence” will be given in the following sections.
Among these 19 defendants, 13 of them were found guilty by the court for “being a member of the criminal organization headed by Aziz Yıldırım“, as precisely stated in the judgment. Such conclusion of the court is final and conclusive. It is not subject to appellate review.
DEFERMENT OF SENTENCE
Deferment of sentence is a remedy offered by the court to the defendants that would be sentenced to imprisonment for less than 2 years under their appealable convictions. The defendant receives the offer after submission of the evidence and the parties’ arguments, but before the court declares its conclusion.
The court asks whether the defendant wants to benefit deferment of the judgment if the defendant is sentenced to imprisonment of less than 2 years. If the defendant chooses deferment of the judgment, the defendant will be released (though not acquitted) conditionally. By the end of 5 years without any wilful crime, the defendant will be deemed to have not ever been sentenced by the court. But, if the defendant rejects the offer, the defendant’s right to appeal the local court decision will remain. Therefore, acceptance of the deferment offer can be considered an implicit admission of the local court’s judgment.
Note that convictions on football corruption are not subject to deferment of sentence under relevant law, so they are subject to appeal. Therefore, the conclusive judgment of the local court does not include the charges regarding the football corruption crimes, but ‘criminal organization membership’, ‘threat’ and other crimes under general provisions.
FRUITS OF A SOUND TREE
The defendants also argue that it would be illegal to use the telephone records as evidence. Their argument is based on the fact that telephone tapping by police is allowed exclusively for the prosecutions regarding criminal organizations. However, unlike the defendants argue, existence of the criminal organization has already been determined by the court, conclusively.
As mentioned above, 13 defendants in the criminal case are subject to deferment of the sentence, according to which, the court found them guilty for “being a member of the criminal organization headed by Aziz Yıldırım“. This determination of the local court is not subject to appellate review. The defendants can benefit deferment of the sentence on condition not to appeal the local court’s judgment and they chose the deferment, not the appeal.
On the other hand, Aziz Yıldırım, the alleged head of the criminal organization, himself is not subject to deferment of the sentence. It is because the appealable convictions alone (which do not include the football corruption crimes) regarding Aziz Yıldırım require imprisonment for more than 2 years. However, as precisely expressed by the local court and implicity admitted by the defendants, the 13 defendants were conclusively found guilty for “being member of the criminal organization headed by Aziz Yıldırım”.