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POLITICS > Courts can also make mistakes, judge says

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency

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The investigation into the espionage gang began in 2009, following allegations. DHA Photo

The investigation into the espionage gang began in 2009, following allegations. DHA Photo

The chief judge in an ongoing military espionage case has admitted the possibility that courts can make mistakes, while adding that a decision to acquit all 56 suspects in the trial was unprecedented in Turkish history.

“We didn’t take our example from any previous decision. We are all human beings and can make mistakes. We were implementing some things for the first time in Turkey,” said Metin Özçelik, the chief judge in the military espionage and blackmail case.

The case concluded Aug. 2 with the acquittal of all 56 suspects on charges of abetting military espionage and prostitution.

“It was a difficult case due to its scope. All of the judges involved worked hard. We used our judicial discretion with good intentions and made a decision. It was the first decision made regarding such articles as nos. 326 and 327 of the Turkish Penal Code [addressing documents related to the state’s security] in the legal history of the Turkish Republic. There was no decision we used as a precedent.

We are all human beings and can make mistakes. We implemented some things for the first time in Turkey. We never resented the accusations clearly targeting us,” Özçelik said.

Four of the 56 suspects were military officials being held under arrest, while the other 52 were either retired and active officials of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) or members of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). The investigation into the espionage gang began in 2009, when allegations arose that the gang reportedly targeted active-duty officers with knowledge of details about military radar locations.

August/04/2012

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