Seven officers arrested, three soldiers released in probe into Syria-bound intel trucks
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
CİHAN PhotoSeven on-duty military officers were arrested on May 18 while three soldiers were released, within the investigation into the halting of Syria-bound National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks in January 2014.
Istanbul’s second criminal court of peace decided for the arrest of seven out of 10 detained officers and soldiers on May 18.
The seven arrested officers included lieutenant colonels, squadron leaders and captains, while the three people released were soldiers.
The Istanbul court stated that the seven suspects’ testimonies, in which they said they did not know of a criminal investigation, were hardly believable. It added that some of the suspects had given contradictory statements.
The court’s decision stated that the seven suspects were arrested on the grounds of “providing state information that must remain confidential, for political and military espionage,” and “attempting to overthrow the Turkish Republic’s government or prevent it from doing its duties.”
A crisis erupted in 2014 after MİT trucks bound for Syria were stopped and searched by the authorities on Jan. 1, 2014 in the southern province of Hatay. Another group of trucks was searched by the gendarmerie in the southern province of Adana on Jan. 19.
In the subsequent probe into the searches, a number of top security personnel have been detained and accused of attempting to overthrow the government.
Last month, the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of Peace arrested 17 active soldiers as part of the same investigation. Four prosecutors and a former commander were also detained on May 7 within the same investigation.
The government has slammed the prosecutors and soldiers involved in the searches, arguing that both the truck and its personnel were protected by the MİT’s legal immunity.