Italian prosecutors drop case against Erdogan's son

September 21, 2016 9:52 AM EDT

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (L), accompanied by his son Bilal and daughter Sumeyye, greets his supporters at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara March 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer


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BOLOGNA (Reuters) - Italian prosecutors have dropped a money laundering case against the son of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, their office said on Wednesday.

The decision, which has yet to be confirmed by a senior judge - usually a formality - came six weeks after Erdogan complained in a television interview that his son Bilal was being abused by the Italian justice system.

"Italy should be attending to the mafia, not my son," Erdogan said, adding that it could "cause problems for our relationship with Italy" if his son returned to the country and was arrested.

The allegation that Bilal Erodogan, 35, was involved in money laundering while studying in Italy last year was first made by Murat Hakan Uzan, an exiled member of one of Turkey's richest families and an opponent of the president.

Prosecutors had been looking into sums of money allegedly brought to Italy from Turkey while he was studying for a doctorate degree.

Bilal Erdogan, who has since returned to Turkey, had denied all charges as completely unfounded.

(Reporting by Valentina Accardo; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)



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