Scribes remain in jail on New Year’s

Scribes remain in jail on New Year’s

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
The chief judge in the Oda TV probe announced in court yesterday the suspects’ requests for their release would not be heard until next week, meaning the defendants will remain behind bars through the New Year’s celebrations.

“The requests are going to be taken next weekend. We are going to continue taking pleas until then and are not going to hold any trials on Monday either,” Chief Judge Mehmet Ekinci said during the fourth hearing of the case yesterday.

The court began hearing the defendants’ pleas after the 134 page indictment was read aloud over two sessions. Suspect Professor Yalçın Küçük flatly denied all the accusations leveled against him.

Some 14 suspects, 12 of them arrested pending trial, are currently facing charges. These include journalists Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık, as well as Yalçın Küçük, Soner Yalçın, Hanefi Avcı, Barış Terkoğlu, Barış Pehlivan, Doğan Yurdakul, Müesser Uğur, Coşkun Musluk and Sait Çakır. Kaşif Kozinoğlu, a former intelligence operative, died under arrest Nov. 12 due to a heart attack.

Ekinci also inquired about the tardiness of the gendarmerie troops who arrived in court 50 minutes late at 10:50 a.m. “There are a great many suspects going to the courthouse, which is causing delays,” a gendarmerie trooper said to Ekinci. The judge responded by saying he would file a formal complaint if they failed to appear in court at 10:00 a.m. next time.

The suspects are being tried for periods of between 7.5 and 41 years, while Ahmet Mümtaz İdil and İklim Ayfer Kaleli are currently standing trial without arrest.

The case regarding Oda TV, an online news portal known for its fierce criticism of government policies, began after the police conducted a search of the website’s offices in February this year as part of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation. Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist gang accused of plotting to overthrow the government by breeding chaos in society.