MALATYA – Anatolia News Agency
The lead suspect in the Malatya massacre case denied any connection with retired Maj. Gen. Levent Ersöz, who was arrested in relation to the Ergenekon case, in a trial at Malatya's Third Court for Serious Crimes yesterday. All suspects in the Malatya massacre case denied committing any crimes of seizure and depredation in the 10th trial in the case. Three Christians and German citizens, Tilman Ekkehart Geske, Necati Aydın and Uğur Yüksel, were murdered in the Zirve Publishing House on April 18, 2007. Four suspects -- Salih Gürler, 20; Cuma Özdemir, 20; Hamit Çeker 19; and Abuzer Yıldırım, 19 -- were caught by police at the crime scene, and Emre Günaydın, 19, was caught as he jumped out the window when police arrived. Günaydın spent time at Turgut Özal Hospital in Malatya and was arrested after his treatment.
The head of the court, Eray Gürtekin, presented Günaydın with a piece of paper and asked him, �It is said that you have written to those on this paper when you were in hospital, is this true?� Günaydın claimed not to remember whether that paper belonged to him or not. Gürtekin then asked Günaydın whether he knew Ersöz or the Istanbul president of an ultra-nationalist association, Levent Temiz. Günaydın said that he knew neither Ersöz nor Temiz.
The suspects are being tried on charges of murder, seizure and depredation. However, all five denied committing seizure and depredation.
�We did not go to there to harm anyone or do anything wrong,� said Çeker, during the trial. �I looked inside a box and under faience as Emre (Günaydın) told me to do. We wanted to collect information and I took a flash disk and gave it to Emre,� said Çeker, refuting the seizure and depredation charges.
The other four suspects also denied the charges.