Plot colonel requests trial by Supreme Court of Appeals

October 19, 2010, Tuesday/ 17:03:00
Col. Dursun Çiçek, who is currently in prison on coup charges, has requested that an İstanbul court transfer his case file to the 11th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, arguing that the trial against him has now merged with an ongoing case against Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor İlhan Cihaner, who is on trial on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.Çiçek stated that he needs to be tried by the appeals court chamber because of the merger. He is currently being tried at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. An Erzurum court ruled in May to merge the cases against Çiçek and Cihaner, arguing that the two cases were related. The Supreme Court of Appeals later took the case from the Erzurum court and announced the transfer to its 11th chamber.

The jailed colonel has been accused of preparing a plot to overthrow the government. Titled the “Action Plan to Fight Reactionaryism,” the plot details a military plan to destroy the image of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Gülen movement in the eyes of the public. Cihaner, on the other hand, is accused of attempting to implement the plan in Erzincan.

The İstanbul court did not immediately respond to Çiçek’s request.

The colonel further drew the ire of judges at the court by making a sarcastic proposal. He argued that judges and prosecutors should spend up to one month in prison before starting their professional lives. “They should understand what spending time in prison means. In this way, they will avoid sending so many people to prison,” he noted.

Çiçek was arrested -- for a third time -- in late April on charges of plotting to overthrow the government and membership of a terrorist organization. Çiçek was arrested twice earlier, first in July 2009 and then in November, for suspected links to Ergenekon but was released after brief detentions in jail. The colonel is believed to be key to exposing the pro-coup junta within the armed forces. Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal organization accused of planning to overthrow the government.

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