16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Court refuses to release MHP deputy, other Sledgehammer suspects from prison

13 July 2012, Friday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
An İstanbul court on Friday refused to release 250 jailed suspects, including a deputy from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in the ongoing investigation into the Sledgehammer coup plot.

The Sledgehammer case concerns an alleged plot to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government; the plot was shared at a military seminar in 2003. The plan included bombing mosques and crashing Turkish jets to manipulate the public in favor of a coup d'état. The judge in this case refused requests for the release of suspects on Friday.

Engin Alan, who was elected to Parliament for the MHP in the June 12 elections, was among the 250 Sledgehammer suspects who sought release but the court rejected his request. Among others suspects who will remain jailed is Çetin Doğan, former head of the 1st Army and the alleged author of the 2003 coup plan.

In a separate decision, another İstanbul court also refused to release suspects in the ongoing investigation in the case of a cache of weapons found in Poyrazköy.

The İstanbul 12th High Criminal Court, which is hearing Poyrazköy case, on Thursday rejected requests from nine suspects including Vice Adm. Deniz Cora for their release in line with a law included in the third judicial reform package. They claimed that the newly approved reform package allows them to be released from jail pending trial.

The court said the suspects posed a flight risk and might destroy evidence if released from prison.

In 2009 İstanbul police discovered a large quantity of munitions, including hand grenades, light anti-tank weapons (LAWs), rocket launchers, Kalashnikov rifles, assault rifles, thousands of bullets and various explosives in Poyrazköy. The discovery came as part of an investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network charged with plotting to topple the government.

The Poyrazköy indictment demands life sentences for five naval officers -- Lt. Col. Ercan Kireçtepe, Lt. Col. Mustafa Turhan Ecevit, Maj. Eren Günay, Maj. Emre Onat and retired Maj. Levent Bektaş -- on charges of “attempting to destroy Parliament and the government.” There are now 71 suspects that stand accused in the case.

In a related development on Wednesday, in separate decisions, courts in both Ankara and İstanbul refused to release jailed suspects in the ongoing investigation into the Feb. 28, 1997 military intervention, popularly known as the postmodern coup, and some journalists who are accused of being members of the Ergenekon terrorist network.

NATIONAL  Other Titles
Erdoğan threatens judges, prosecutors in party group speech
Opposition leaders say PM turning Turkey into intelligence state
Opposition CHP leader likens Erdoğan to Hitler, Mussolini
Nearly 90 police officials purged in southeast Turkey
Nearly 280 police officers reassigned in four provinces
Twitter executives meet with Turkey's President Gül
Two officers arrested over Adana trucks released
AFAD: Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey tops 900,000
Bahçeli criticizes PM's attack on Constitutional Court
Murder suspect attempts suicide in prison
Homosexual prisoners in Turkey segregated for ‘protection': minister
AK Party politician sparks hatred against Hizmet movement
Reactions mount against ban on publication of ‘Risale-i Nur'
Prosecutor who stopped MİT trucks, two others reassigned
Ministry issues traffic tickets to 125 Gezi protesters in Çanakkale
Turkish gov't rules out May 1 rallies in İstanbul's Taksim Square
Turkish military says PKK kidnapped three workers
55 students from 30 countries captivate İzmir residents with poems of praise
HDP co-chair says MİT law only protects intelligence agency
Turkish Olympiad in Chicago held with impressive event
President's Office denies reports of Gül-Erdoğan meeting over presidential election
New paper unexpectedly shuts down, employees protest
Retirement no hindrance to good works for 12 Karabük men
Survey shows Black Sea province's people are happiest
Pro-gov't columnist resigns in protest of newspaper's deceit