MİT's Kozinoğlu sent to court on terror charges
National Intelligence Organization (MİT) official Kaşif Kozinoğlu, who an İstanbul court earlier this month issued a detention warrant against, was transferred to an İstanbul court for arrest after testifying to civilian prosecutors on Thursday.
The MİT member arrived at the Beşiktaş Courthouse in İstanbul in the early morning hours to testify to prosecutors in the Ergenekon investigation. Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal network accused of working to overthrow the government through large-scale chaos. Kozinoğlu's testimony came shortly after he returned to Turkey from Afghanistan, where he had stayed for more than two weeks. There were earlier media reports that Kozinoğlu was a former MİT member, but new reports suggest that he is still on active duty and is responsible for gathering intelligence in Afghanistan.
Turkish police raided the homes and offices of 11 individuals, including Kozinoğlu, on March 4 in Ankara and İstanbul as part of the ongoing investigation into Ergenekon. In addition, the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court issued detention warrants for all of the suspects. Ten of them were taken into custody and interrogated by prosecutors involved in the Ergenekon investigation. Seven of them were later arrested. Kozinoğlu escaped detention as he was reported to be abroad at the time of the police operation.
Several Turkish newspapers reported yesterday that Kozinoğlu returned to the Turkish capital on Wednesday evening. Kozinoğlu was reportedly welcomed by MİT officials, and later accompanied to an unidentified place by the same officials. He then traveled to İstanbul for a testimony in the Ergenekon investigation.
Kozinoğlu was photographed for the first time in many years by photojournalists when he arrived at the Beşiktaş Courthouse yesterday. Newspapers earlier printed a photo of the MİT member that was allegedly taken years ago. Kozinoğlu did not respond to reporters’ questions as he entered the courthouse. The details of Kozinoğlu’s testimony were not available when Today’s Zaman went to print. Nor it was clear whether he was arrested.
Documents seized from the offices of the Odatv news portal last month included notes allegedly prepared by Kozinoğlu. Among the documents was detailed information about the structure and activities of MİT as well as detailed intelligence notes about some members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
A Turkish daily claimed this week that Kozinoğlu kept tabs on MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and his family and shared this information with the owner of Odatv, Soner Yalçın. Yalçın is currently under arrest on charges of membership in a terrorist group and seizing and publishing confidential state documents.
Taraf reported on Tuesday that police seized a large number of documents at Kozinoğlu’s home and office during a raid last week. The documents included detailed personal information about Fidan and his family. They also showed whom Fidan regularly met with and the home addresses of his close friends. Photographs of Fidan and his family were also among the documents seized from Kozinoğlu’s home and office. The documents were reportedly prepared shortly before Fidan was appointed the undersecretary of MİT last year.
In addition, Kozinoğlu allegedly had close relations with Alaattin Çakıcı, arguably the most infamous mafia boss in Turkey. He was caught in several phone conversations with Çakıcı in the past when he was trying to help the mafia boss flee Turkey. In an earlier testimony to prosecutors, Kozinoğlu said MİT learned about the planned assassination of a high-level politician in Turkey and he was trying to prevent it by being in close contact with Çakıcı. It was later suggested that the politician in question was former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz.