Turkish court rules for record compensation payout to acquitted coup plot convict
ANKARAA local court in the Turkish capital city of Ankara has ruled nearly 1.5 million Turkish Liras was to be paid as compensation to a former coup plot convict who was acquitted after being jailed for almost four years.
The Ankara Heavy Penal court ruled on Dec. 1 that Engin Alan, a retired lieutenant general and a former deputy of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), should be paid 63,650 liras for pecuniary damages and 1.3 million liras for non-pecuniary damages, with media reports suggesting this was highest amount of compensation ever appraised in similar cases.
“He was deprived of freedom, left apart from his family and couldn’t perform his legislative duty as a deputy during this time [the period Alan was incarcerated]; 44 months were stolen from his life and family,” Alan’s lawyer said in his petition to the court, appealing for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages over his unfair arrest.
His family was treated like “lepers” because Alan was considered to have been a “putschist,” the lawyer added.
In March 2015, the Anatolian 4th High Criminal Court had acquitted all 236 suspects, including Alan, in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, ruling that all the main evidence in the case had been faked.
The retrial of the Balyoz case began on Nov. 3, 2014, after the Constitutional Court ruled in June 2014 unanimously that the convicted suspects’ rights were violated concerning “digital data and the defendants’ testimonies.”
Balyoz was an alleged military coup plot targeting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) drafted in 2003. The military is alleged to have planned drastic measures to foment unrest in the country in order to remove the AKP from power. The measures included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, an assault on a military museum by people disguised as religious extremists and the raising of tension with Greece through an attack on a Turkish plane that was to be blamed on the Aegean neighbor.
During a past term of parliament, Alan took his oath as a deputy in June 2014 following the Constitutional Court ruling.