World Bulletin / News Desk
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel has said if summoned by prosecutors he will be willing to testify as a witness in the trial regarding the Sledgehammer coup plot, in which the suspects are accused of attempting to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.
Özel's statement came in response to an official query made to the General Staff by retired Gen. Doğan Temel.
Gen. Temel, a suspect in the Sledgehammer trial who prosecutors claim was assigned by his fellow plotters the task of convincing Gen. Özel to support a military takeover, sent an official query to the General Staff inquiring whether Gen. Özel would testify in the Sledgehammer trial. The query was filed as part of Turkey's information access laws.
Prosecutors conducting the investigation have said Gen. Özel was against a military takeover, evinced by the fact that the plotters took great pains to win him over. The Sledgehammer trial concerns a plot devised in the mid 2000s, when Gen. Özel was the commander of the War Academy. Documents seized from the suspects show that Gen. Temel was given the task of closely monitoring Özel's activities and convincing him to support overthrowing the government.
A lawyer for Gen. Temel filed an information access query with the General Staff asking whether Gen. Özel had ever been spoken to about a possible coup attempt and if he had been subjected to the slightest attempt to convince him to support the coup.
Judge Col. Muharrem Köse, a legal advisor to the General Staff, responded to the query and said of Gen. Özel, “It has been concluded that he will offer testimony in the case that he is summoned as a witness by judicial authorities.”Last Mod: 10 Mart 2013, 18:10