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More 'Ergenekon' case detainees released

A Turkish criminal court released more detainees of "Ergenekon", an alleged coup attempt case.

10.03.2014
More 'Ergenekon' case detainees released

ISTANBUL

A criminal court in Turkey released some prominent detainees, including former army officers, who were convicted over a long-running coup trial called "Ergenekon", after the constitutional court ruled that their ongoing detention violates their rights. 

An Istanbul High Criminal Court ordered the release of Dursun Cicek, a retired Turkish army colonel, journalist Yalcin Kucuk, Ret. Generals Sener Eruygur and Hasan Igsiz, Ret. Rear Admiral Alaettin Sevim, journalist Merdan Yanardag, and Lt. Mehmet Ali Celebi, a suspect in the attack on Turkey's Council of State Alparslan Aslan, former intelligence chief Ibrahim Sahin, Labor Party leader Dogu Perincek, Ret. Lieutenant Muzaffer Tekin, Mehmet Demirtaş, Oktay Yıldırım, Daily Aydinlik's columnist Hikmet Cicek, and Ret. Col. Hasan Atilla Ugur, and lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz.

The court ruled that the said detainees have completed the 5-year maximum detention period.

They have been restricted from travelling abroad, excluding gang leader mafia Sedat Peker, and seven of them released under condition of judicial supervision. 

However, the court rejected the appeals for the release of the suspects Ret. Brigadier General Veli Kucuk, Hasan Ataman Yildirim, Brigadier General Levent Ersoz, Erkan Onsel, Turhan Ozlu, Bedri Gultekin and Serdar Ozturk, ruling that they have not yet completed the 5-year maximum detention period.

Among the detainees, Ret. Col. Dursun Cicek, who has an upheld sentence of 16 within the framework of the Sledgehammer case, cannot be released from the prison.

With the recent releases, a total of 19 detainees were released on Monday while the appeals of seven suspects were rejected by the court.

Earlier in the day, the court ordered the release of Turkish journalist; Tuncay Ozkan, a gang leader with alleged links to the 'deep state'; Sedat Peker and a retired Turkish army colonel; Levent Goktas.

The Ergenekon case was filed six years ago against 275 people, including military officers, politicians and journalists over a conspiracy to overthrow incumbent AK Party government.

The decision to release the detainees of the case came after another Ergenekon detainee, Ilker Basbug, Turkish army's former chief, was released Friday when the constitutional court ruled his imprisonment a breach of his rights.

He had been convicted of attempting to overthrow the government and sentenced to life in prison. He was in prison for more than two years. 

englishnews@aa.com.tr

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