Hacking suspects freed pending trial

Hacking suspects freed pending trial

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Hacking suspects freed pending trial

Although the self-proclaimed leftist hacking group, RedHack, has been saying arrested suspect on trial have nothing to do with the group and its cyber attacks, the three students have been kept behind bars for nine months. Hürriyet photo

Three students who had been kept behind bars for nine months on charges of being members of the leftist hacker group RedHack were released yesterday at the first hearing of the trial. With new releases, all 10 suspects are now free pending trial while the Interior Ministry’s demand to be accepted as an intervening party was also accepted.

The probe into RedHack was launched after the group staged a cyber attack on the Ankara Police Department’s website in February; prosecutors are demanding up to 24 years in prison for the suspects’ alleged crimes. Suspects were initially detained in March on charges of “committing a crime in the name of an armed terror organization despite not being a member of a terror group.” RedHack has consistently said those on trial have nothing to do with the organization. Arrested suspects delivered their first plea in the morning session of yesterday’s hearing. Suspect Uğur Cihan Okutulmuş, an 18-year-old high school student, said he did not have sufficient computer skills to hack the website of the Ankara Police Department. “I heard about the hacking of the Ankara Police Department’s website on Facebook. There’s no evidence that I accessed that website. There are no charges against me in the expert report.”

‘No clue on hacking’
Another arrested suspect, Duygu Kerimoğlu, a university student studying computer programming, also denied the charges, saying she did not use any computer program that could be used for hacking purposes. “Hacking requires high-level computer skills, yet I don’t know any hacking. I don’t even have any programs for hacking on my computer. If I had had such computer skills, I wouldn’t have studied at a two-year vocational college for five years,” Kerimoğlu said. The prosecutor’s charges are based on a comment on her Facebook page that was made before the Ankara Police Department’s website was hacked, she added.

University student Alaattin Karagenç, the third suspect, said he chatted with a RedHack member nicknamed “Manyak” about technological issues in an online chat room but had not received any instructions about hacking. “Our detention is not based on evidence – it’s based on denunciations.”

Another suspect, Taşkın Yasak, who had remained in detention for five months, said he had lost his job at state-run Ziraat Bank because of the legal probe. After his release, he found a new job at the Finance Ministry through the Public Personnel Exam (KPSS), Yasak said. “I’m mentally depressed, I cannot touch computers outside my workplace,” he added tearfully.