Ergenekon ‘coup plot’ trial delayed once again

Ergenekon ‘coup plot’ trial delayed once again

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Ergenekon ‘coup plot’ trial delayed once again

AA photo

An Istanbul court hearing the 276th case of coup plot trial Ergenekon has rejected all the demands of suspects and postponed the case until March 11, following a police raid on supporters of the suspects, which resulted in injuries.

More than a thousand people, mostly supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), clashed with the gendarmerie forces to break the security blockage one hundred meters away from the 13th High Criminal Court on Feb18.

Four people were injured and CHP deputy Mahmut Tanal’s ankle bone was broken in the clashes, in which gendarmerie forces used pepper gas and pressurized water to disperse protesters, the majority of whom were over middle aged.

CHP Istanbul deputy Ali Özgündüz told the Hürriyet Daily News that the chief judge overrode his authority by intervening in the protests outside of the court. Özgündüz said that even the justice minister had told CHP officials that he could not prevent the gendarmerie forces from intervening.

“From what I understood today, the judge board is waiting for the fourth judicial reform package to issue a verdict,” he said.

Another CHP deputy, İlhan Cihaner, called for restraint after clashes erupted outside the Silivri court.

Cihaner said the clashes aimed at turning the crowd against the army and to pit them “against the military.”

“There are old people here, people who cannot even stand up. They surrounded us with pepper gas and soldiers. They want to pit us against the military,” Cihaner said. “They want to portray us as violent people. They want us to be blamed for a possible death that may occur here today. Let’s not fall into this trap.”

As events unfold outside the courthouse, the court decided to apply to the Forensic Medicine Institute to ask for a report on former university rector Fatih Hilmioğlu, who was diagnosed with cancer and facial paralysis while under arrest pending trial as part of the Ergenekon coup case. The case has attracted great attention from the public, with social media campaigns organized on Hilmioğlu’s behalf.

An important witness, former Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner, could not take the floor.

İlhan Şener criticized this situation, saying “the court board that heard [a former outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party militant] Şemdin Sakık by visiting him personally rejected hearing Koşaner.”

In a press release published at the end of the hearing, the lawyers stressed that the Code of Criminal Procedure had been contravened once again.

CHP sends letter to Gül

A main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy has urged President Abdullah Gül to “be sensitive and to act responsibly” regarding a former rector of Malatya University, Fatih Hilmioğlu, who recently was diagnosed with cancer, diabetes and renal insufficiency while under arrest pending trial as part of the Ergenekon coup case.

“As I observed during our visit to Silivri Prison last week, Professor Hilmioğlu cannot walk without the help of prison guards. He cannot fulfill his basic needs without the help of other inmates. His fundamental right to life is being violated. A valuable academic of Turkey has been left for dead,” the CHP’s Veli Ağbaba said in his Feb. 17 letter to Gül.

Seven separate medical reports suggest that Hilmioğlu should be treated at a university hospital, Ağbaba said. “I invite everybody and your Excellency in particular to show sensitivity and act responsibly about this issue. If we leave Hilmioğlu for dead in prison, we would all commit the crime of attempting intentionally to kill a person.”