On Wednesday evening, the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court said the suspects posed a flight risk and might destroy evidence if released from prison. Several suspects in the investigation, who were arrested earlier this year on accusations of playing a role in the staging of the Feb. 28 coup, appealed to the court recently in an attempt to benefit from a law inserted in the third judicial reform package, demanding their release from prison pending trial. They claimed that the newly approved reform package allows them to be released from jail pending trial.
Presently there are several suspects under arrest in the Feb. 28 investigation. Among them are civilians as well as retired members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). On Feb. 28, 1997, the powerful military forced a coalition government led by the now-defunct conservative Welfare Party (RP) out of power, claiming there was rising religious fundamentalism in the country.
At the center of the Feb. 28 investigation are the actions of the West Study Group (BÇG), which was formed within the TSK in order to contribute to the staging of the coup. The group reportedly categorized politicians, intellectuals, soldiers and bureaucrats in accordance with their religious and ideological backgrounds before and after the coup.
In a similar development, the İstanbul 16th High Criminal Court decided unanimously not to release five suspects who were arrested last year as part of the investigation into the OdaTV news portal. The suspects stand accused of membership in a terrorist organization and obtaining and publishing confidential state documents. The news portal is better known for its pro-Ergenekon publications.
The court said all evidence related to the investigation had so far not been gathered by prosecutors, therefore suspects may work to destroy evidence if they are released from prison pending trial. A number of documents seized from the offices of the OdaTV news portal during police raids in 2011 included various strategies to manipulate the media and the public to get support for an anti-Ergenekon probe campaign.