Friday, June 18, 2010

Ergenekon Releases

Key suspects were released in two different Ergenekon cases on Friday. In the first, retired Gen. Cetin Dogan, the former commander of the First Army, and 13 other suspects, including one other retired general, were released after having been detained since February. Dogan and company are charged in relation to "Operation Sledgehammer" (see past posts). In the second, Erzincan Chief Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner, also picked up in Feruary's wave of Ergenekon arrests, was released alongside nine other suspects. Hurriyet Daily News gives an accounting on Cihaner's trial here. See also past posts.

UPDATE I(6/22) -- Twelve more suspects in the "Sledgehammer" case were released today. From Hurriyet Daily News:
In its justification of its release decisions, the court said both the manner of the suspects during the investigation and the fact that the evidence has already been collected – leaving no possibility that it might be destroyed, hidden or changed – were taken into consideration. The court said there is no strong suspicion that the suspects would try to influence witnesses or victims in the case, nor that they would present a flight risk.
See also this coverage from Bianet, as well as Hurriyet Daily News' recounting of interviews Cihaner gave to Cumhuriyet and and Milliyet upon his release in which the prosecutor defends his decision not to cooperate with Ergenekon investigator Osman Sanal.

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