Former commander slams court decision on witnesses in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ. AA photoFormer Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ criticized the Ergenekon court’s decision not to hear former general-in-chief Işık Koşaner and other senior commanders as witnesses, while hearing outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) member Şemdin Sakık in separate cases.
Nothing could be more natural than for a high-ranking official to suggest other high-ranking names as witnesses, Başbuğ said in a letter addressed to daily Hürriyet.
“I asked to have my colleagues of 2008-2009 as witnesses in an official request on May 30, 2010,” Başbuğ wrote. “The court rejected my request after eight months.”
His colleagues arrived on Feb. 18 to testify, and “waited patiently at Silivri Prison” to be heard.
“The Law of Criminal Procedures requires the court to listen to these people,” Başbuğ said. “By the same law, rejection of such a request could alone be used by the high court to overturn the decision.”
Başbuğ slammed the court decision not to hear Koşaner as “inexplicable” and “unbelievable” and called the Turkish nation to take notice of the ongoing injustice.
“The court that claims to judge in [the nation’s] name has listened to the terrorist Şemdin Sakık as a witness, and refused to listen to, and respect, retired commanders and former Chief of General Staff Işık Koşaner,” Başbuğ said. “Is it possible to expect such a court to judge and decide fairly? Of course not.”
Başbuğ has been imprisoned at Silivri Prison for over a year, where he is being held for his alleged leadership of a terrorist organization in the ongoing Ergenekon coup-plot case.