Court rejects release of suspect in former President Özal’s murder case
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Former President Turgut Özal. Hürriyet photoAn Ankara court has refused to release Levent Ersöz, a retired general and suspected member of JİTEM, an alleged intelligence unit of the gendarmerie, in a hearing today into the alleged murder of former President Turgut Özal.
Ankara’s 13th High Criminal Court rejected the defense lawyer Hulusi Coşkun’s demand for a trial without arrest before delaying the hearing until Dec. 9. Secret witness testimonies were read in yesterday’s hearing.
The Özal family’s lawyer, Hasan İşgüzar, delivered a file to the court which was dropped into the post box of Ahmet Özal, the late president’s son. The file, read in court, claimed that Özal was poisoned by a radioactive element which could not be detected during forensic investigations.
Ersöz rejected the secret witness’ testimony. Ersöz’s lawyer said the late president’s widow, Semra Özal, should also be ordered to testify, recalling one secret witness’ testimony claiming that she had instructed that her husband be murdered.
JİTEM’s existence has never been acknowledged by the military.