Justice minister admits failure to react against ‘coup plot’ cases

Justice minister admits failure to react against ‘coup plot’ cases

Justice minister admits failure to react against ‘coup plot’ cases

Bekir Bozdağ said that the government should have voiced a stronger reaction to coup plot cases. AA photo

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ admitted the government has failed to give a reaction during the prosecutions that were held before the recent graft probe, in a clear reference to the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot cases.

“We made mistakes as well. We should have had a strong reaction when the addresses of the prosecutions and investigations were different,” said Bozdağ while responding the lawmakers’ questions during the Parliament’s Justice Commission meetings on controversial judicial amendments, according to the Anadolu Agency. 

“Everyone has complained about the ideological structures. We prepared the law and it is enforced. Our aim was to give them one vote so there will be different voices in the general assembly so the consensus will be more likely. But the situation is different. It [the power] passed from one group to another, one ideology to another,” said Bozdağ. 

Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Celal Adan asked Bozdağ to give the name of the groups that were powerful within the commission. Bozdağ said what he said was clear and it was not necessary to clarify what’s obvious, daily Hürriyet reported.

Bozdağ’s remarks were widely regarded as another level of the recent rift between the government and the members of the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Zonguldak Deputy Mehmet Haberal, however, asked who will give the accounts to those who were convicted or stayed under arrest in coup plot cases. Haberal was released from following the Ergenekon verdict on Aug. 5, 2013 after spending several years in prison. After his release, Haberal was elected as a lawmaker for the CHP in the general elections.

“Who will give the account of what happened? Many people are in prison now. Who will give the accounts for the 4 years and 4 months I have spent [in prison],” said Haberal asked, addressing Bozdağ. The CHP Eskişehir deputy Süheyl Batum said Bozdağ will stand trial before the Supreme Court for those cases.