Colonel to be paid 1.5 million liras for ‘unfair arrest’
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyA local court in Ankara has ruled that a former coup plot convict must be paid 1.5 million Turkish Liras in compensation after he was acquitted following more than three years in jail.
The Ankara 5th Court for Serious Crimes recently ruled for retired colonel Yusuf Kelleli to be paid 1.5 million liras in compensation, for “unfair arrest” and “the method and length” of his arrest, as reported by Doğan News Agency on Dec. 20.
The court ruled Kelleli must be paid 225,000 liras for pecuniary damages and 830,000 liras for non-pecuniary damages.
Kelleli was arrested as part of the controversial Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case. He was later released from prison after a Constitutional Court amendment regarding lengthy arrest periods.
Kelleli remained in prison for three years, five months and 15 days, pendirng trial before being acquitted and released.
Mahir Işıkay, the lawyer of Kelleli, recalled during the trial that Kelleli had been acquitted from all charges and his acquittal was approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The ruling is the latest compensation decision given to the former coup plot victims. On Nov. 5, the Ankara 6th Court for Serious Crimes ruled for retired lieutenant general Ayhan Taş to be paid 1.2 million liras in compensation, saying he had been “insulted” and his “moral values were disregarded.”
Taş was arrested on Feb. 11, 2011, as part of the controversial Balyoz case. He was later released from prison on June 14, 2014, after a Constitutional Court amendment regarding lengthy arrest periods.
During the subsequent retrial process, Taş was acquitted by the court, and he later filed a lawsuit for compensation over his arrest.
The retrial of the Balyoz case began on Nov. 3, 2014, after the Constitutional Court ruled in June 2014 unanimously that the convicted suspects’ rights were violated concerning “digital data and the defendants’ testimonies.” In March 2015, the Anatolian 4th High Criminal Court had acquitted all 236 suspects in the Balyoz case, saying the main evidence in the case had been faked.
Balyoz was an alleged military coup plot targeting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) drafted in 2003. The military is alleged to have planned drastic measures to foment unrest in the country in order to remove the AKP from power. The measures included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, an assault on a military museum by people disguised as religious extremists and the raising of tension with Greece through an attack on a Turkish plane that was to be blamed on the Aegean neighbor.