20 January 2018

Factory head gets jailed for exploiting state secrets

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A Turkish state weapons factory director was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison Thursday for trying to sell Turkish weapons designs to a U.S. company.

Mustafa Tanriverdi, who headed a small arms weapon factory for Turkey's state Machinery and Chemical Industry Institution, was found guilty of trying to sell design and production plans for an MP-5 sub-machine gun for $70,000 and a MPT-76 national infantry rifle for $300,000 to an official working for a U.S. firm.

Ankara’s 4th Criminal Court of First Instance handed down a prison sentence of 12 years and eight months following Tanriverdi’s arrest this April on charges of exploiting state secrets and disloyalty to state services.

The MPT-76, using the Turkish acronym for "national infantry rifle," is designed and produced by the government-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation or MKEK.

The project phase of Turkey’s first indigenous infantry service rifle was finalized in May 2014 after the MPT-76 successfully completed over 50 test rounds.

With the production of new high-quality rifles, Turkey aims to reduce its dependence on foreign weapon manufacturers, which currently restrict MKEK from making even small improvements to their products without first getting their consent.

2016.12.29 / 17:12
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