Number of Detained Defendants Increased to 161
The "Sledgehammer Coup Plan" trial was continued on 14/15 March, one month after the Istanbul court decided to release arrest warrants about 163 people of whom 157 were arrested in the meantime. Ret. General Çetin presented his 85-page defence speech.
İstanbul - BIA News Center
16 March 2011, Wednesday 10:41
On Monday (14 March), the so-called "Sledgehammer Trial" was continued at the Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court. 196 defendants, 157 of whom are detained, stand trial at the case related to the "Sledgehammer Coup Plan" allegedly plotted by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Top rank military officers like Air Force Commander ret. General Halil İbrahim Fırtına, Naval Forces Commander ret. Admiral Özden Örnek or 1st Army Commander ret. General Çetin Doğan are among the defendants as well as numerous active military officers.
The Tuesday session (15 March) started with the continuation of the defence speech of ret. General Doğan. The defendant had submitted his 85-page defence speech entitled "Manifest" to the court the day before.
This was the first hearing after the court's decision to release arrest warrants about 163 people in February this year. In the meantime, the arrest warrants could be applied to a total of 157 persons. The trial is heard at the premises of the Silivri Prison a few miles west of Istanbul.
It was reported that 155 detained and 29 un-detained defendants attended the Monday and Tuesday sessions. Ret. Colonel Cemal Temizöz and ret. Colonel Mehmet Yoleri were not present at either session.
Four more defendants arrested
Another four defendants who were issued arrest warrants in the scope of the Sledgehammer coup plan were arrested and brought to court after they had been transferred to the Central Command. Hence, the number of detained defendants increased to 161 in total.
Court President Ömer Diken announced that Brigadier General Hakan Akkoç, Lieutenant Colonel Bahtiyar Ersay, Colonel Nedim Ulusan and Colonel Mehmet Alper Şengezer could not be detained because they were on duty abroad. Diken declared that the detention orders had been read to them and decided for the according arrest warrants at the end of the hearing.
Ulusan's lawyer Celan Ülgen stated that the evidence seized in the course of the search at the Gölcük Naval Command constituted the base of the arrest warrant. Moreover, Ülgen claimed that the court did not know by which methods these documents were obtained, whether they accounted as evidence and whether they were legal.
The lawyer put forward that the court released the mass arrest warrants before clarifying if the documents were in line with the law and obtained in a proper way. "Four military officers are representing Turkey abroad. What is the benefit of arresting people, what is the harm of trying them un-detained. I request to lift the arrest warrants", Ülgen said.
Before the hearing, hundreds of people demonstrated against the case. The protestors were members of the Kemalist Thoughts Association and of the "Our Watch Keeping" Platform established by the families of the detained active and retired military officers. (EG/EÖ/VK)