Ten persons, among them also university students, have been tried with arrest for 4.5 years on the grounds of a lost police radio and the statements of two police officers. Five of the detainees were released pending trial at the 13th hearing on Tuesday (27 March).
Five defendants went back to prison after the hearing. The prosecutor's request for their release was rejected.
Defendant Coşkun Günay is suffering from severe diabetes. He lapsed into a coma in prison and his life-sustaining functions are in a severe condition. He was not released at the Tuesday hearing.
Prosecutor requested acquittal
The trial includes 29 defendants, three of whom are fugitive and five still in jail. They are tried before the Beşiktaş (Istanbul) 9th High Criminal Court in the scope of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK) on charges of "membership in the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP)", "looting" and "assault".
In the first eleven hearings, Prosecutor Selim Berna Altay requested the defendants' acquittal of charges of "membership in an illegal organization". Prosecutor Salim Duran who has been in charge of the file since the 12th hearing reiterated the same demand.
Defence lawyer Özlem Gümüştaş said that after the prosecutor's plea they requested to withdraw the case from the special authority court. The request was dismissed.
Judge Nurettin Ak reasoned the decision to keep five of the defendants in detention with "the consideration of the stage of the file".
Defendants Özkan Adıgüzel, Sel Yoldaş Akar, Suat Batır, Ali Haydar Saygılı and Ercan Karabulut were released pending trial. They were in prison since 11 October 2007.
"How many years is the price for one radio?"
On 8 October 2007, two police officers were beaten and their radios were stolen at the Mustafa Kemal District known as the "1 May District". In subsequent raids on private homes, 30 members of the 1 March District Improvement Association and of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) were taken into police custody. Ten of the people in custody were arrested.
The statements of police officers Semih Korkmaz and Ali Fuat Halıcıoğlu claimed to have been beaten but changed their statements several times during the trial period.
During the investigation, the policemen said about some defendants that they were among the people who beat them whereas they stated at court that they "saw these defendants on the street before the incident".
One of the policemen said about defendant Adıgüzel who was released on Tuesday "He was not part of the group" whereas the other policeman stated "He was among the group".
A secret witness has not been heard by the court for 4.5 years now "because of technical deficiencies". Lawyer Gümüştaş demanded to hear the witness as soon as possible.
The weapons and radios of both policemen were lost on that day. It was determined that the weapons were in the possession of a person who is not part of the trial. The weapons were returned to the police officers. The person who had the weapons was detained for four months and then released.
On the other hand, ten people have been detained for 4.5 years because of a "lost radio" and the statements of the policemen. Five of these people will stay behind bars for three more months.
bianet writer Füsun Erdoğan questioned in her article published on Tuesday, "The only thing that is missing is a radio. How many years is the price for one radio?"
Three more months in detention
Defendants Hüseyin Tunç and Süleyman Yıldırım were taken to the Kandıra F Type Prison; Erdinç Araç returned to the Edirne F Type Prison and Gözel Tekbaş and Coşkun Günay were brought to the Tekirdağ F Type Prison.
The next hearing will be held on 28 June. (AS)
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