Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Ergenekon Developments

Three significant developments happened this week in line with the Ergenekon investigation:

1. The General Staff said the signature of former Naval Infantry General Staff Col. Dursun Cicek on the "Action Plan Against Reactionary Forces" may be authentic. Revealed last June, the coup plan was allegedly aimed to de-legitimaze the AKP and the Gulen Movement. The TSK has opened its own investigation led by specially-appointed Maj. Ahmet Erdogan who is said to have delivered a report to the Istanbul Chief Proesecutor's Office. Cicek has been detained twice by civilian prosecutors. Last Monday a military prosecutor tried to detain him, though the detention was rejected by the General Staff. A statement was released on the TSK's website last Monday night.

2. The 2nd High Criminal Court in Erzurum accepted the indictment of 14 suspects accused of being connected to Cicek's plot, including Erzincan Chief Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner and 3rd Army Commander Saldiray Berk, who the indictment alleges was the ringleader of a plot to cause chaos in Erzurum and attribute a weapons cache discovered in October to the Erzurum police department. Though Erzurum Chief Prosecutor Osmal Sanal was removed from his post by the Supreme Council of Judges and Proesecutors (HSYK), newly-appointed prosecutor Taner Aksakal submitted a very similar indictment. Today's Zaman reports that Cihaner will be tried in the Erzincan court for activities he engaged in as a member of Ergenekon while a special body of the Supreme Court of Appeals will be dealing with any crimes or abuses Cihaner might have committed in his capacity as a prosecutor, the result of a complaint filed by the Justice Ministry. The Erzurum trial is set for May 4, while Hurriyet Daily News reports Cihaner's first trial will begin on April 2. It is uncertain whether Berk will testify in the Erzurum trial. 11 of the 14 suspects are under formal arrest.

3. Last Monday Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin sent instructions to subordinate prosecutors ordering that they obtain permission from superiors before detaining suspects. More controversially, Engin is reported to have sent confidential letters of instruction to the Istanbul Police Department and Istanbul Central Command ordering officials there to ignore the directives of prosecutors investigating the Sledgehammer coup unless there are instructions from chief prosecutors.

No comments: