Demand for acquittal in coup case rejected

Demand for acquittal in coup case rejected

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Demand for acquittal in coup case rejected

Rejecting acquittal pleas for 67 suspects in an alleged coup case, a court also files a criminal complaint against some lawyers for hindering the judicial process. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

A court has rejected the acquittal pleas for 67 suspects in the Ergenekon coup case. The board also decided to file a criminal complaint against some defendants’ lawyers on the grounds that they hindered the judicial process during the hearing on Dec. 13. The next hearing has been postponed to Dec. 27.

After demands of the defendants were heard during the trial at the Istanbul 13th Court for Serious Crimes, the court board took a break at 11:00 p.m. After a 45-minute break, Court Board Chief Hasan Hüseyin Özese announced the board’s four-article interlocutory decision. Özese said during the hearing on Dec. 13, the lawyers of the defendants asked for permission to speak in an unlawful way, and since they insisted on speaking despite the denial, they hindered the hearing process by causing four recesses to be taken. The court board also indicated that the lawyers had hindered the speeches of member judges and other procedures such as the announcement of the additional indictment.

Özese said Vural Ergül, a lawyer who attended the hearing despite new legal regulations banning him from attending hearings until the defense of the accusations, shouted slogans against the court on three separate occasions on Dec. 13. Özese said the court had decided to send Ergül out of the courtroom and that other defendant lawyers had tried to prevent him leaving, thus the hearing started with a 90-minute delay. The court board decided to file a criminal complaint about the incident to Silivri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against the lawyers.

Additional defense
The court board announced that the demands of defendants and lawyers would be evaluated during the court recess. It also gave time to arrested defendants Aykut Metin Şükre, Erkan Ayyıldız, Kenan Özay and Selçuk Özkan to make their defense on the additional indictment issued for the charge of “providing arms to an armed terrorist organization” until the next hearing.

The court board, who rejected the acquittal demands for 67 defendants including the former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputies Mustafa Balbay and Mehmet Haberal, and retired Brig. Gen. Veli Küçük, postponed the next hearing to Dec. 27.