World Bulletin/News Desk
Mehmet Demirtaş, the owner of the house where the discovery of an arms depot initiated the Ergenekon probe, delivered his final defense to the panel of judges at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court on Monday.
The suspect, a retired noncommissioned officer, has been under arrest since the discovery in 2007. He claimed that the trial against the Ergenekon terrorist network is aimed at occupying people's attention so that the government could “realize its hidden agenda.”
Ergenekon is a terrorist network accused of working to overthrow the government.
The investigation into the clandestine group began in June 2007 with the discovery of 27 hand grenades, explosives and detonators found in a house belonging to Demirtaş.
Dozens of suspects, including members of the military, businessmen and journalists, are currently under arrest pending trial on coup accusations.
The trial began in 2008. The 292nd hearing was held at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court on Monday. There are 275 defendants, 66 of whom have been jailed pending a verdict. Forty-five of the jailed suspects attended Monday's hearing while the others cited health reasons to prevent them from attending.
Demirtaş claimed that the Ergenekon investigation was launched on June 12, 2007, following a tip given to the Trabzon Police Department. The tip came at 12.40 a.m., according to the suspect. However, Demirtaş said, the İstanbul police was informed about plans for the investigation earlier than the arrival of the tip.
He also claimed that neither he nor other suspects knew there were hand grenades and other explosives at the house in Ümraniye.Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2013, 10:45