Ex-police chief Hanefi Avcı acquitted of terrorism charges
ISTANBULA criminal high court in Istanbul on May 17 acquitted former police chief Hanefi Avcı of charges of supporting a terror organization.
Avcı had in 2013 been sentenced to 15 years in jail for allegedly helping the armed Revolutionary Headquarters terrorist group, attempting to influence the judiciary, and violating confidentiality.
However, in 2014 the Ankara Court of Cassation reversed his conviction and he was released pending a further trial.
An Istanbul court also acquitted Avcı last month over alleged involvement in a plot to topple the government through the news website OdaTV. The court on April 12 ordered the acquittal of 13 suspects, including journalists and writers, charged with membership of the Ergenekon organization in the OdaTV case.
The acquittals come six years after the opening of the case, widely thought to have been the work of prosecutors linked to U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
In the tenth hearing of the case, the Istanbul 18th court of serious crimes board unanimously acquitted the suspects including Avcı and journalists Ahmet Şık, Nedim Şener, Soner Yalçın and Yalçın Küçük based on their pleas, expert reports, witness statements and the wider context of the file.
The OdaTV case was initiated in 2011 after police teams raided the suspects’ addresses, and came at a time when all suspects had been making broadcasts and writing articles criticizing the Ergenekon trials, which saw the arrest of over 200 suspects in a decade-old legal battle over allegations that they were aiming to overthrow the Turkish government. The suspects in the Ergenekon case were charged with membership of an illegal organization, trying to create an environment of chaos, inciting people to hostility and hatred, obtaining and revealing secret documents, attempting to influence a fair trial, and illegally recording personal data.