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ANKARA: Tekin Tries To Defame Van Prosecutor In Defense Statement

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  • ANKARA: Tekin Tries To Defame Van Prosecutor In Defense Statement


    Today's Zaman
    Nov 19 2008

    The 15th hearing in the court case against Ergenekon, a criminal
    network accused of plotting to overthrow the government, took place
    yesterday, with one of the lawyers claiming that a state prosecutor who
    once attempted to indict an army general was now under the protection
    of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    Engin Celik Kadıgul, the lawyer for former Capt. Muzaffer Tekin,
    presented his client's defense yesterday. In the statement Kadıgul
    claimed that Ergenekon prosecutors had prepared the indictment
    by simply "copying and pasting" information from books and Web
    sites. "Things that have nothing to do with the crimes in question
    have been added to this indictment. The indictment quotes people all
    the time like s/he said this, s/he said that, precisely because there
    is no evidence at all."

    He said a 2006 shooting at the Council of State -- for which Ergenekon
    is under suspicion -- that left a senior judge dead was a plot to
    smear the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Tekin, a former captain who was
    expelled from the army, was also implicated in the Council of State
    attack before the Ergenekon investigation started in 2007. An Ankara
    court later ruled against investigating Tekin for his alleged part
    in the attack.

    The lawyer said Van prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya, who was disbarred
    for initiating an investigation into an army commander for his alleged
    role in the gang that organized the 2005 bombing of a bookstore in the
    southeastern township of Å~^emdinli, was part of a similar campaign
    to smear the military. He claimed Sarıkaya was under protection of
    the CIA and that he was living in the United States. He said Tekin's
    alleged involvement in the Council of State was not based on fact
    but was based on "orders" taken by the prosecutor on the case.

    Also in the defense statement, Kadıgul explained the reason that Tekin
    was expelled from the military. "Muzaffer Tekin, who was working as
    a training officer in Tuzla, got involved in a fight that broke out
    between some students. In the ensuing investigation, Tekin refused
    to reveal the names of those involved in the fight. This was why he
    was expelled."

    Kadıgul said the Ergenekon investigation, just like the Å~^emdinli
    investigation, was an attempt to eliminate Kemalists in Turkey. "I
    don't believe that this indictment was prepared by the prosecutors,"
    he said.

    He also claimed that the indictment was a violation of Turkey's Code
    on Criminal Procedure (CMK) and that politics was overruling law in
    the courtroom. "There are things in the indictment that were made to
    look like they exist, even though they don't. That's falsification
    of a document."

    The Ä°stanbul 13th High Criminal Court is hearing the case in a
    makeshift courtroom inside Silivri Prison near Ä°stanbul. Among the
    86 suspects are retired Gen. Veli Kucuk and lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz,
    who is known for filing lawsuits against intellectuals over writings
    that question or criticize the state line on issues such as Armenian
    allegations of genocide. Forty-six of the suspects are in custody,
    and the rest have been released pending the outcome of the trial.

    The existence of Ergenekon has long been suspected, but the current
    investigation into the group began only in 2007, when a house in
    Ä°stanbul's Umraniye district that was being used as an arms depot
    was discovered by police.

    The Ergenekon indictment, made public in July, claims that the
    Ergenekon network is behind a series of political assassinations
    carried out over the past two decades for the ultimate purpose of
    triggering a military coup and taking over the government. The victims
    include secularist journalist Ugur Mumcu, long believed to have been
    assassinated by Islamic extremists in 1993; the head of a business
    conglomerate, Ozdemir Sabancı, who was shot dead by militants of the
    extreme-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
    in his high-security office in 1996; and secularist academic Necip
    Hablemitoglu, who was also believed to have been killed by Islamic
    extremists in 2002.

    Suspects face various charges, including "membership in an armed
    terrorist group," "attempting to destroy the government," "inciting
    people to rebel against the Republic of Turkey" and other similar

    Meanwhile, retired noncommissioned officer Mahmut Ozturk, arrested
    last June as part of the Ergenekon investigation, was released by the
    court during yesterday's hearing. This is the court's first release
    ruling during the trial, which started on Oct. 20.