The hearing took place at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court at the Silivri Prison Complex.
Forty-nine jailed suspects, including Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Mustafa Balbay, retired Gen. Veli Küçük, retired Gen. Hurşit Tolon, Workers' Party (İP) leader Doğu Perinçek and former Deputy Chief of the National Police Department's Special Ops Unit İbrahim Şahin attended the hearing while 19 jailed suspects, including CHP deputy and former Başkent University Rector Mehmet Haberal, retired Gen. Levent Ersöz, mafia boss Sedat Peker and former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. İlker Başbuğ did not.
The hearing saw the continuation of the cross-examination of Ulaş Özel, a former member of the Turkish Workers and Peasants Liberation Army (TİKKO). Özel had testified in relation to burying weapons found during excavations in August of last year in İstanbul's Şile district at the previous hearing, on Monday.
Özel said on Monday that for each assassination carried out, “rewards in cash” were given in envelopes. Özel said he joined TİKKO in 1993, serving with them for six years before becoming a regional director for the organization. He also said that he had surrendered to security officials along with two other people after he realized the organization did no good for people. “I left the terrorist organization and surrendered to the state. I said that I was sorry for what I had done. And even though I appeared to be an inmate in prison [on paper], I participated in operations [outside],” he told the court.
On Friday, Özel continued his testimony, saying that some years ago he had confessed while in jail that security forces would take him out and give him missions to complete. However, when those security forces denied Özel's claim, he turned to the Ministry of Justice, demanding they research the validity of his claims. Özel further told the court that the Ministry of Justice heard Özel's testimony almost a year ago and noted down the names of those he spoke of. “I gave them names and told them everything about the operations,” he said.
The first investigation into Ergenekon was launched on June 12, 2007, when 27 hand grenades belonging to Oktay Yıldırım, a retired noncommissioned military officer currently under arrest in relation to the case, were seized from a house in İstanbul's Ümraniye district. However, the existence of Ergenekon only came to light after retired Gen. Küçük was detained in January 2008. A number of documents regarding the structure of the organization were seized from Küçük's house during police raids.