Appeal process in Ergenekon coup plan case underway
Released Ergenkon and Balyoz convicts, including Workers' Party leader Doğu Perinçek (C), gather during an event on June 22. DHA PhotoThe appeal process in the marathon Ergenekon coup plot case has begun, as the colossal detailed ruling running some 16,600 pages has been sent to the top prosecutor of the country.
The file was sent to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals last week, state-run Anadolu Agency reported late on Aug. 13.
Over one year ago, on Aug. 5, 2013, some 275 people suspected of plotting a coup were handed sentences of hundreds of years’ imprisonment in total, with many high-ranking army members, journalists and academics being given aggravated life sentences by a local court.
Yet, the delay in the release of the detailed ruling had caused much controversy, as it prevented suspects from appealing their cases to higher courts.
Following an application from one of the high-profile suspects, former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. İlker Başbuğ was released in early March upon a ruling from the Constitutional Court that his imprisonment was a “rights violation,” on the ground that the detailed reasoning regarding his conviction was not issued until seven months after the verdict.
Başbuğ was released the subsequent day after more than two years of imprisonment, before other prominent suspects were also freed.
In early April, the Istanbul 13th Court of Serious Crimes announced the organization had targeted a long series of governments, while eventually releasing its colossal ruling.
Afterward, the colossal ruling was sent to related parties before it was sent to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals last week, the Anadolu Agency said.
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office, which is currently conducting a review of the appeal, will draft a letter of notification. This notification, which is not binding, will be sent to the 9th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The 9th Criminal Chamber that is in charge of terror-related crimes also dealt the rulings from the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case and in October 2013, it approved the convictions of 273 suspects in the case.
Upon reviewing the top prosecutor’s notification, the Chamber will set a date if the defendants ask for a hearing for an appeal.