A recent report prepared by the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) on İbrahim Şahin -- the former head of the National Police Department's Special Operations Unit and a suspected member of the Ergenekon gang -- that said Şahin was mentally incapable of committing a crime has been found to have been based on the file of another convict with the same name.
An ongoing investigation is set to determine whether the ATK report was a result of a simple mistake or if ATK officials actually prepared the report to save Şahin from prison.
The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court -- which is hearing the case into the shadowy Ergenekon network, accused of planning to overthrow the government -- sent Şahin to the ATK for a medical exam in July. The exam report was to be decisive over whether Şahin would continue to stand trial for Ergenekon membership. An earlier ATK report had stated that Şahin was mentally sound and that there were no obstacles preventing him from standing trial. Şahin's lawyers, however, objected to the report, and asked the ATK to re-examine him.
The second ATK examination, also conducted in July, concluded that Şahin was not mentally sound and that he was not capable of committing a crime. The council forwarded the report to the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. Suspicious of the contradiction between the two ATK reports, the İstanbul court ordered an investigation into the reports.
The preliminary findings of the investigation were leaked to the press. According to the findings, the second ATK report was based on the examination of a different suspect, who is currently standing trial at the Kadıköy Courthouse in İstanbul and is charged with a separate crime. The suspect is also named İbrahim Şahin.
Şahin gained notoriety in the Susurluk case, a car crash that revealed gang involvement with the police force. He was sentenced to six years in prison and barred from public service in the Susurluk trial. He obtained a medical report in 2003 certifying that he had suffered permanent damage to his brain and ears as a result of an accident in 2000 unrelated to Susurluk in addition to having a number of psychological problems. He was later pardoned by former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.