16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Cross examination silences retired Gen. Veli Küçük

17 December 2008, Wednesday /ERKAN ACAR, BÜŞRA ERDAL
Retired Brig. Gen. Veli Küçük, considered one of the most important suspects in the trial against Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network charged with plotting to overthrow the government, refused to answer questions directed at him on the second day of his cross examination at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court yesterday in the 27th hearing of the trial, which started in late October in the İstanbul township of Silivri.

Yesterday public prosecutors Mehmet Ali Pekgüzel and Nihat Taşkın directed 17 questions to Küçük, but the suspect only replied to one. Küçük not only refused to respond to questions about his notes from a personal notebook he kept, but also “recommended” that the prosecutor “withdraw” his question. Regarding the notes in his notebook, Küçük said the General Staff had informed the court and the prosecution that his notebook contained sensitive information and state secrets.

Küçük was arrested in January. The prosecution is seeking two life sentences with no possibility of parole.

Küçük, believed by the prosecution to be a major figure in the Ergenekon organization, responded to a question about whether he was the founder of a clandestine, unofficial and largely illegitimate intelligence unit in the gendarmerie, known to the public as JİTEM, saying only: “I used to serve at the gendarmerie. You can find out from them.” In his responses to the rest of the questions Küçük either said, “I do not know,” or, “I refuse to answer.”

However, Küçük later responded, when asked by judge Hasan Hüseyin Özefe, to a question about Tuncay Güney, saying he met Güney in 1990. “Your honor, they make it sound like Tuncay Güney was my personnel, working for me. They are creating this image that he was always with me. He would appear once in awhile and then disappear. He would do annoying things. He would call me every three or five months. I think he only did that to impress people around him. I think I’ve seen him five or maybe 10 times at most. He was not like a close friend. He would give me intelligence info, but there wasn’t much there, either.

Later, when we had the jeep incident, I told him to get out of my face," Küçük said. Küçük has claimed that Güney offered him a stolen jeep as a present, which he rejected.

Accusations against Küçük

Küçük faces 17 charges, including "founding and directing an armed terrorist organization"; "inciting people to armed revolt against the government of the Republic of Turkey"; "attempting to overthrow the government by force"; "inciting to murder with malicious intent"; "inciting to detonate explosives to create fear and panic"; "inciting vandalism and being in possession of explosives illegally"; "seizing and publicly disclosing confidential material"; "violation of the Radio Communications law"; "violation of the law on protection of cultural and natural assets"; "not informing authorities on the location of a convict or evidence in a crime"; "attempted influence on fair justice"; "inciting soldiers to disobey orders"; "recording private information about an individual"; and "supplying arms and acquiring classified information." He is being represented in court by his daughter, attorney Zeynep Küçük.

Küçük denied all charges directed against him in court on Monday and yesterday.

Payrolls confirm Küçük's affiliation with JİTEM

Although Küçük has previously denied the existence of JİTEM, most former members who have managed to stay alive, including former informant Abdülkadir Aygan, who resides abroad, do not. Aygan, who currently lives in Europe, has posted a copy of the payroll check issued by the Gendarmerie Command in 1993 on the Internet. The check bears the registration number of Aygan as 5-1 27299. His department is shown in the check as JİTEM. The check also shows that he was receiving a monthly salary equivalent to roughly YTL 4,500, including family payments, additional payments and other benefits. İstanbul Today's Zaman

Questions Küçük refused to answer

The questions Küçük did not answer yesterday were: "Do you know [former Esenler Mayor and Ergenekon suspect] Gürbüz Çapan?"; "Have you ever had any issues with [Ergenekon informant currently residing abroad] Tuncay Güney? How did you meet Tuncay Güney?"; "Did you call Tuncay Güney when you went to the US. If you did, how did you find his mobile number?"; "Did Tuncay Güney visit you in Bilecik?"; "Do you know [former army captain rumored to be the real hit man in the Sabancı assassination of 1996] Hüseyin Pepekal?"; "Do you know [Ergenekon suspect and former army captain] Muzaffer Tekin with a different alias?"; "You'd stated earlier that you knew Muzaffer Tekin from a journal called Western Thrace. Can you explain that?"; "Was there an issue of hostility between you and [Ergenekon suspect and former police chief] Adil Serdar Saçan?"; "You wrote in your notebook that [activist Behiç Aşçı who was on a hunger strike] 'is down to 45 kg. This should be ended with interventions.' Can you explain that?"; "Has [Young Party administrator] Emin Şirin called on you to talk to Business Channel owner Hayrettin Ertekin to reinstate Can Ataklı as the channel's chief editor?"; "You wrote in your notebook, 'certainly we are continuing our preparations quietly and carefully' in a note signed by 'Avşar 1881.' What does this mean?"; "Has [Ergenekon suspect and mafia boss] Sedat Peker acted as a peacemaker between you, [former intelligence officer] Korkut Eken and Yavuz Ataç?"; "Are you the one who founded the organization known to the public as JİTEM?"; "Do you know [former gendarmerie officer assassinated in 1993 after revealing information about JİTEM] Cem Ersever. Do you have any information about how his death occurred?"; "Edirne Police Chief Hanefi Avcı, in his testimony in the Susurluk investigation [in 1996], stated that you were connected with [mafia members that appear to have shadowy dealings with the state] Sami Hoştan, Ali Fevzi Bir, Sedat Peker, Yaşar Öz and Mehmet Özbay . Is this true? Do you have contacts with these people?"; "What is your connection to Nuri and Vedat Ergin, who said during a prison rebellion, 'We killed people for this state. Ask Veli Abi [Küçük] about us'?"; and "Do you know Ahmet Cinali, the Deputy Chairman of the Patriotic Forces Union of Strength Movement Association (VKGHD)?"


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