World Bulletin / News Desk
The trial of suspects in the Sledgehammer coup plot -- an alleged subversive plan that included bombing mosques and downing Turkish jets to manipulate the public in favor of a coup d'état – resumes on Thursday in the third hearing since its start on Dec. 16, 2010.
There are 196 suspects in the trial. In the session, the prosecution will read aloud the 968-page indictment, enumerating the accusations against the suspects.
There has been a delay in the trial, which is being heard by the 10th High Criminal Court, because 38 of the suspects filed a request for a change in the judge in the first hearing on Dec. 16. The 11th High Criminal Court -- the next higher court after the 10th – had denied the request. Now the 12th High Criminal Court is hearing the suspects' appeal against the 11th court's decision. The delay was mostly caused by the suspects' objections.
The trial is being heard in the Silivri prison complex's courthouse, where most of the suspects in all the Ergenekon-related cases are jailed. Eregnekon is a clandestine gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government, and many of its suspects appear to be linked to other ongoing trials where the suspects -- usually former military officers but also civilians and those officers currently on active duty -- are facing similar charges.
The second hearing was on Dec. 28. The court had to adjourn the trial until today to give the 12th High Criminal Court time to review the objections. If the court approves the request, a new panel of judges will be installed. If it rejects the objection, the current judges will continue to hear the trial in the courthouse in Silivri.
Another reason behind the delay was an objection filed against the court's authority by some of the suspects, claiming that the Sledgehammer coup plot falls outside the court's jurisdiction.
Thursday's trial will start by hearing this objection and continue on with the reading of the indictment. Prosecutor Savaş Kırbaş will read the indictment, which lists in detail all the accusations leveled against the suspects. Testimony from civilian members of the General Staff who are witnesses for the prosecution, expert reports on CDs and materials found during the Sledgehammer probe and reports on other evidence will also be read aloud in the courtroom. The indictment reading is expected to go on for a few weeks.
Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2011, 18:04