Ergenekon judge says he wouldn’t have accepted indictment if he had properly read it
The verdicts of the trial were handed out by the 13th High Criminal Court on Aug. 5, 2013. DAILY NEWS files photoThe chief judge of the Ergenekon coup plot case has admitted that he did not thoroughly read the original indictment, which came to more than 2,500 pages, and said he would not accept it today after having read it.
“It would be lie if we [judges] said we had entirely read [the indictment]. I would have rejected the indictment for many reasons if [it had come before me] now. But we had to approve it before, because you have to cite your reasons for your rejections,” Köksal Şengün, the first court head of the Ergenekon case, told news website T24 in an interview published on Feb. 3.
He also recalled that the court only had 15 days to read the 2,500-page indictment, as well as 500 additional files, saying it was impossible for a human being to read so many pages within that time.
Şengün has worked on the Ergenekon coup plot case for three years following its start in 2005, but was then removed from the case and assigned to Bolu province in July 2011, with a decision from the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).
He said there had been “many mistakes” during the five-year-long Ergenekon coup plot trial, which was concluded by the 13th High Criminal Court on Aug. 5, 2013, convicting 275 suspects, including former Chief of General Staff İlker Başbuğ.
Retired judge Şengün said he “did not trust” the trials that had CDs and digital material as key evidence, on the grounds that he now sees that dates on computers and smart phones can be easily altered.
“You are sitting on a bomb if you have a computer or a smart phone. Everyone can reach these; this is what I have learned so far. People can download anything without your knowledge and they can put the date they want. This technology can be used as a weapon by ill-intentioned people and they are using them as we go through it. I think sufficient research was missing in this issue,” said Şengün, criticizing the case for relying on the digital evidence, rather than more concrete evidence.
He also said former Chief of General Staff Hilmi Özkök should have been listened to as a witness during the trials. He added that witness testimonies from President Abdullah Gül and Ömer Dinçer, who have worked as undersecretaries at the Prime Ministry, would have also been helpful if they made any statements that they were aware of coup plot attempts.