Defendants in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case made their final defense arguments during the case’s 98th hearing in Istanbul’s 10th Court for Serious Crimes at Silivri Prison on Aug. 15.
Former general Ergin Saygun was given priority due to health conditions, Court President Ömer Diken said after Saygun questioned his ability to attend future hearings due to health concerns. “I want to tell some things in this hearing and maybe even say my final words,” Saygun said.
Retired Gen. Hilmi Özkök’s statements in Erkenekon hearings proved how right they were to request an examination of the CDs that were presented as evidence of a coup plan in the Ergenekon case, said Saygın. “The hearings are nearing an end, until now no one has seen the Balyoz plan, which is the essential proof of the case. If you are accusing me of planning a coup, you are obligated to show me the plan that you call Balyoz. Where is the evidence? If you can’t show any evidence these accusations are nothing but slander.”
In his testimony at Ergenekon hearings on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 retired Gen. Özkök said he acknowledged the existence of the alleged coup plots, nicknamed “Ayışığı” (moonlight) and “Yakamoz” (phosphoresce in the sea), during his term of leadership. But the retired general when on to say he did not take any legal action concerning them as he was unsure of their authenticity and seriousness. Hovewer, he also said the Sledgehammer plan went beyond its intended aim and that he warned the officers responsible for it.
Meanwhile, National Movement Party (MHP) congressmen İsmet Büyükataman, Özcan Yeniçeri, Ruhsar Demirel, Bülent Belen, Mesut Dedeoğlu and Lütfü Türkkan, as well as Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) congressman İlhan Cihaner observed the watched the 98th hearing of the Balyoz case. In a press release made during a break, MHP General Secretary Büyükataman said they were visiting jailed suspect MHP Istanbul congressman retired Lt. Gen. Engin Alan.
“We are waiting for the release of our congressman who was elected by the public to be a member of the Parliament,” Büyükataman said.
CHP Denizli congressman Cihaner voiced frustration over court proceedings in the Balyoz case. “The CDs that almost everyone agrees are fake have not been investigated. Following the latest legal adjustments this place is no longer a court. We listened to Ergin Saygun. He has 19 different illnesses. It is clear that they expect suspects to die in prison. I say the lawlessness should be made known and stopped immediately through civilian pressure,” Cihaner said