Turkish judge warns coup suspects to obey court rules

The presiding judge involved in the Sledgehammer coup case warned suspects in the trial during a hearing not to violate the court's rules.

Turkish judge warns coup suspects to obey court rules

World Bulletin / News Desk

The presiding judge involved in the Sledgehammer coup case warned suspects in the trial during a hearing not to violate the court's rules.

The warning was mainly directed at suspects who were chewing gum, reading books or newspapers or chatting with other suspects as the prosecution read aloud the indictment in the case. Presiding Judge Ömer Diken asked the suspects to act in a more disciplined manner or he would “take measures” against those who violated the court's rules.

The lawyer for retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, the former head of the 1st Army, objected to Diken's warning, saying the “activities” of the suspects did not constitute a “lack of discipline” and asked the judge to be more tolerant.

The judge, in response, said he did not impose a sanction on the suspects due to their activities, but added: “The hearing is about to stop because of the behavior of the suspects. It may be boring to listen to the indictment, but we are listening to it, too.”

Doğan is currently a prime suspect in the Sledgehammer coup case.

The Sledgehammer trial has been continuing with the reading of the 968-page indictment for the past couple of days. The prosecution is reading 125 pages of the document every day and the reading is expected to continue for the next three or five hearings to come.

The Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan mentions an alleged systematic plan by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to create chaos in society by bombing mosques and attacking popular museums with Molotov cocktails. The aim was to increase pressure on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and draw attention to its failure to provide security to its citizens. The attacks were to planned to eventually lead to a military coup.

There are 195 other suspects in the case, all of whom are retired and active duty members of the military. Prosecutors are seeking up to 20 years in prison for each suspect on charges of a failed attempt to overthrow the government and destroy Parliament.

The trial is being heard by the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court. 169 of the suspects were present in the courtroom.

The suspects also paid homage to five military officers who were killed on Monday when their helicopter crashed in Ankara during a training flight before the judges in the case entered the court room.

 

Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2011, 17:41
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