Ergenekon suspects giving final defenses

Ergenekon suspects giving final defenses

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Ergenekon suspects giving final defenses

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies hold a press conference in front of the courthouse in Istanbul’s Silivri. DHA photo

The Ergenekon coup plot trial continued in silence yesterday, three days after major protests inside and outside the courtroom that had prevented suspects from delivering their final defenses. However the controversy between the ruling party and the main opposition over clashes continued.

Fifteen main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies attended the trial, including party vice presidents Bülent Tezcan and Umut Oran and deputies Birgül Ayaman Güler, Melda Onur, Ali Özgündüz.

Oran said the cause of the clashes was the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials’ “provocative statements” before the trial. 

“The CHP prevented much bigger clashes,” he said. Soldiers and police forces used pepper spray to disperse thousands of protestors, led by the CHP, Workers’ Party (İP) and Turkish Youth Union (TGB), who protested the trial in front of the 13th High Criminal Court in Istanbul’s Silivri district April 8. 

Government criticizes protests in Silivri

The vice president of the AKP, Hüseyin Çelik, said yesterday that the courthouse had been terrorized by the CHP April 8.

“They used many revilements I cannot repeat. On one side [the CHP’s] group chairman was directing their deputies by chanting slogans, stomping and hitting the chairs on the floor,” Çelik said. Çelik also said the CHP had raided the courthouse and tried to affect the court board’s judicial authority.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had harshly criticized the CHP for “attacking independent courts,” and “provoking people to engage in illegal meetings and marches.”

In Istanbul, the Silivri Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the incidents that took place in front of Silivri Prison regarding the deputies and some protesters.

Verdict given, only procedure played: CHP

Tezcan also said the verdict in the case had already been given; only procedure was being completed. 
“It emerged that the evidence is fake, the witnesses secret, the court specially authorized and the verdict was given before,” Tezcan told reporters. 

Tezcan also said the chief judge did not let the suspects complete their final defenses by interrupting their words unlawfully.

Suspect Mustafa Balbay, who is a CHP deputy, complained about the prosecutor for violating Court of Appeals’ practices. 

The road to the court in Silivri, which had been overflowing with people along two kilometers the previous day, remained empty, but during the trial inside, the court board faced lawyers’ and suspects’ criticism over the prosecutor’s opinion. All the suspects given the floor demanded the rejection of the prosecutors’ opinion.