CHP MP Balbay expected to attend military spying trial today
Banu ŞEN İZMİR – Hürriyet
Lawyer of the army members called on CHP deputy Mustafa Balbay to attend today’s espionage case hearing. AA photoAs a military espionage case in which 357 suspects are charged with espionage continues, Mustafa Balbay, who was recently released from prison after remaining under arrest for almost five years, is expected to attend the trials.
The arrested soldiers expect the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Mustafa Balbay, who was freed early last month, to attend today’s trial, their lawyer Atilla Ertekin said.
“Soldiers under arrest said they want to see Mustafa Balbay in the courthouse during the trial. We delivered their demand to Balbay. His presence will give spirits to the soldiers,” said Ertekin.
İzmir 12th High Criminal Court will hold the trials today in which 357 suspects, 59 of them under arrest, are being accused of espionage.
Balbay was convicted in the Ergenekon trial, but an appeal process for the case is ongoing.
The lawyer also said that the retrials of hundreds of military officers jailed for coup-plotting, recently offered by the Metin Feyzioğlu, head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), was welcomed by the arrested soldiers in the espionage case. However, the case is still being tried and a retrial seems unlikely.
Prosecutors have demanded life sentences for the alleged leader of the criminal organization, businessman Bilgin Özkaynak, and arrested university student Narin Korkmaz, who is listed as an alleged top member of the gang.
The prosecutor further demanded up to six years in prison for the head of the Navy, Vice Adm. Veysel Kösele, on charges that he divulged confidential information without receiving prior approval from the General Staff. Kösele was arrested Sept. 15, 2012, before being released several days later pending trial.
The investigation into the espionage gang started in 2009 after allegations arose that the gang reportedly targeted active-duty officers with knowledge of details concerning warcraft radar locations.