A parliamentary committee investigating corruption allegations has voted against prosecuting four former Cabinet ministers on graft charges.

The four ministers stepped down last year amid suspicions of bribery and illicit money transfers to Iran.

The government insisted that the allegations were orchestrated by followers of an influential U.S.-based Muslim cleric intent on bringing down the government. It nevertheless agreed to set up a committee to investigate the accusations.

The committee, which is dominated by members of Turkey's ruling party, voted 9-5 on Monday against referring the ex-ministers to the Supreme Court.

Parliament's full house will have the final say on whether the politicians should be prosecuted; they are expected to be spared trial because of the ruling party's strong majority. No date has yet been set for the vote.