Turkish court releases retired general, ex-YOK head in coup probe

A Turkish court investigating coup plot allegations released a retired general and the former chairman of an education board on Sunday, state-run Anatolian news service said.

Turkish court releases retired general, ex-YOK head in coup probe

A Turkish court investigating coup plot allegations released a retired general and the former chairman of an education board on Sunday, state-run Anatolian news service said.

The two were detained last week along with some 40 people.

A former police chief who was among those detained was formally arrested, Anatolian said.

A Turkish prosecutor released the former head of the Higher Board of Education (YOK) on Sunday.

A Turkish prosecutor freed Professor Kemal Guruz, former chairman of YOK, after interrogating him in the court house in Istanbul.

An alleged criminal network that came to be known as "Ergenekon" was revealed after police seized 27 grenades, TNT explosives and fuses in a shanty house in Istanbul on June 12, 2007 and Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into weapons. Police waged operations in several provinces and detained a number of people, including retired senior army officers, journalists and businessmen for their alleged involvement in the network.

A criminal court in Istanbul began trying 86 suspects, 46 of whom were in prison, in the "Ergenekon terrorist organization" case on October 20, 2008. Among the suspects were retired general Veli Kucuk, Labor Party chairman Dogu Perincek, Cumhuriyet daily's editor-in-chief Ilhan Selcuk, and Professor Kemal Alemdaroglu, the former president of Istanbul University.

Retired general Sener Eruygur, the chairman of the Kemalist Thought Association; retired general Hursit Tolon; journalist Tuncay Ozkan; and Sinan Aygun, the chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce; were detained within the scope of the investigation.

Selcuk, Alemdaroglu and Aygun were later released.

The prosecutor has not prepared an indictment regarding Eruygur, Tolon and Ozkan yet. Retired general Eruygur was released from prison due to his health problems.

The 2,455-page indictment regarding the Ergenekon probe carried out by prosecutors Zekeriya Oz, Mehmet Ali Pekguzel and Nihat Taskin indicts 86 people on charges of attempting to overthrow Turkish government.

Prosecutors demanded life-imprisonment for some suspects including Kucuk, Perincek and Alemdaroglu on charges of attempting to overthrow Turkish government by force and inciting murder.

Turkey's powerful military has unseated governments four times in the past 50 years.

Agencies

Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2009, 20:03
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