Retired Gen. Ethem Erdağı, the former commander of the Third Army Corps, made frequent calls to Hayrettin Ertekin, currently under arrest and awaiting trial in the Ergenekon case, to collect information on the course of his trial, being heard at the Military Supreme Court of Appeals. Ertekin is the owner of Business TV and Ergold Jewelry.
Retired Gen. Erdağı, who was accused of “abusing his power while on duty” in a construction tender held in the years 2002 and 2003, was sentenced to 11 months, 25 days in jail and banned from public service for two months, 28 days. The Military Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, making Erdağı the highest-ranking general to have been convicted while on active duty. Erdağı, who for a time also served as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, was forced to retire by the 2007 Supreme Military Council (YAŞ).
Transcript of the phone conversationA translation of relevant sentences in a recorded phone conversation between Erdağı (E.E) and Ertekin (H.E) that took place Nov. 12, 2007:
E.E.: I heard unofficially that the [Military] Supreme Court of Appeals prosecutor submitted his opinion on my case. Can we somehow find out what it is?
H.E.: I can find that out right away, Commander. No problem with that.
Summary of a conversation between Ertekin and a man whose first name is Ali (A.) from Nov. 12, 2007:
H.E.: Ethem Paşa just called me. This prosecutor submitted his opinion about the thing at the [Military] Supreme Court of Appeals. He requested me to find out if you could possibly get some information on this.
A.: The opinion should have been given to the lawyers. Haven’t they done that?
H.E.: No they haven’t, but they just turned in the opinion, that’s why he asks if we can find out. Would you have an opportunity to have a talk with the president [of the high military court] on the phone?
A.: No, not on the phone. OK, I’ll schedule an appointment and visit him. I will be there on Thursday, anyway; we’ll talk about this in detail on Friday.
Summary of a phone conversation transcript between Erdağı and Ertekin on Feb. 21, 2008:
E.E.: You’ve been so silent, I was wondering if you’d moved to China or something. Hayrettin, follow up on this [Military] Supreme Court of Appeals thing, will you?
H.E.: Commander, we are on it. That file, you know, went to the chamber.
E.E.: Yeah, the Second Chamber, I heard.
H.E.: The president of the Second Chamber has been told. The president of the Court of Appeals also knows about the subject. Commander, I think they will announce a good decision.
E.E.: God damn it! What do they want from me? What is this all this pressure, what is all this about?