Fugitive Dalan demands no-arrest guarantee for Turkey return

The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court ruled to request Interpol to issue a notice last week.

Fugitive Dalan demands no-arrest guarantee for Turkey return

World Bulletin / News Desk

Former İstanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan, a fugitive and suspect in the case against the Ergenekon organization, has said he will surrender to police if he is provided with a guarantee that he will not be arrested.

Dalan conveyed his demands via his lawyers, Celal Ülgen and Hüseyin Ersöz, who submitted an 11-page petition to the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, which is currently hearing the Ergenekon case.

Dalan was abroad when the 10th wave of detentions in the trial of Ergenekon, an illegal network nested within the state which aimed to overthrow the government through illicit activities, occurred and was named a suspect by the prosecutors in the Ergenekon investigation. He has been a fugitive ever since. There were earlier news reports that he is hiding in Russia.

Dalan's lawyers said the reason behind their client's failure to return to Turkey is not because he is a criminal but because he is concerned about being arrested and detained, as this appears to be a form of punishment in Turkey where many suspects are jailed until their cases are concluded.

Arguing that the prosecutors have accused Dalan without any concrete evidence, the lawyers said: “Dalan is not evading trial but evading punishment before trial. Our client will return to Turkey to stand trial if the current practice of keeping suspects incarcerated while awaiting trial is not used as a measure to detain him. He said will comply with any fair court ruling even if means he is sentenced to imprisonment.”

The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court ruled to request Interpol to issue a notice last week. The court noted that the former mayor is accused of establishing and managing an armed terrorist organization and working to bring down the government. The court also defined Dalan as a suspect at large.

Dalan is the founder of the İstek Foundation, on whose land in Poyrazköy a large number of guns and ammunition were found buried, in an excavation in 2009 during Ergenekon investigations. Prosecutors believe that Dalan was the third most important administrator in the terrorist group. Dalan is also the founder of Yeditepe University in İstanbul.

Prosecutors are recommending a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Dalan on charges of planning to bring down the government and membership of an armed terrorist organization.

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2011, 17:59
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