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RIGHTS > One suspect released in Oda TV case

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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Journalist Soner Yalçın spent almost two years in prison. Hürriyet photo

Journalist Soner Yalçın spent almost two years in prison. Hürriyet photo

Arrested journalist Soner Yalçın was released yesterday pending trial in the OdaTV case after spending roughly two years in prison, but the scribe has been slapped with an overseas travel ban and will be required to sign in at court on a weekly basis.

But Yalçın Küçük and Hanefi Avcı, the other two arrested suspects in the case, which is investigating the alleged Ergenekon coup plot against the government, were denied release.

In his testimony during yesterday’s hearing, Yalçın said he was the victim of a conspiracy by those who allegedly wiretapped Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The plotters are the same people behind the release of sex tapes of former Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and many executives of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Yalçın said at yesterday’s hearing.

“Who can be behind such a plot? Is it possible to stage such actions without having the support of the state intelligence?” Yalçın asked, adding that he and his friends knew the names behind the acts.

“We have been writing about them, that is why they trapped us by putting viruses on our computers,” he said.

Suspects in the OdaTV trial have been arguing that the documents that were found on their computers were sent from outside with the help of a computer virus. A number of independent expert reports supported the claim, while two reports prepared by court-appointed experts from the Scientific Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) were inconclusive.

Ahmet Şık, a journalist and suspect in the trial, has been arguing that a group within the judiciary and police with close links to the Fethullah Gülen movement has conspired against the suspects.

Yalçın argued that the government also knew about “this center of evil.”

“What is missing is the political will to reveal this fact,” he said. “But I think they pushed the button because it is obvious that the next target is Erdoğan.”

Erdoğan made public on Dec. 22 that wiretapping devices had been found in his home office in Ankara.

Some critics pointed to the Gülen movement for eavesdropping on the premier, recalling the conflict between the government and the movement that surfaced when National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan was called to testify as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe earlier in 2012.

In his testimony, Yalçın called on MİT and the Police Department to determine the perpetrators of the conspiracy.

Another suspect in the trial, Küçük, said the allegations against him were “surreal.”

“According to the accusations, I am running the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK, Ergenekon and OdaTV at the same time. Look and see what a man I am. I am like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, serving good during the day and in the service of the evil at night,” he said.

December/28/2012

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