ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires
Mustafa Özbek, former head of the Turk Metal Union, is among the three released Ergenekon suspects. AA photo
The 13th Istanbul High Criminal Court released Thursday three suspects in the Ergenekon investigation currently on trial in the case’s second and third indictments.
Former Turk Metal Union head Mustafa Özbek, special operations police officer Ayhan Atabek and Fahri Kepek were released by the court based on the “the contents of the [case] dossier, the nature of the evidence, the possibility of a change in the classification of the offence” and a consideration of the amount of time the suspects had already remained under arrest.
Despite the trio’s release, the men have been barred from foreign travel.
The court denied requests for the release of 30 other suspects even though Head Judge Köksal Şengün’s voted in favor of releasing of 25 of them.
Meanwhile, Osman Yıldırım, a suspect facing murder charges for the 2006 Council of State attack and on charges of involvement in the bombings at the daily Cumhuriyet, failed to indicate where he allegedly obtained the grenades allegedly used in the attack.
The Council of State attack was merged with the Ergenekon case after evidence implicated Yıldırım in the bombings.
During the 160th hearing of the Ergenekon trial, the prosecution requested that Yıldırım be taken to the location where he allegedly received the grenades from Ergenekon suspects Muzaffer Tekin and Veli Küçük.
The court accepted the request and Yıldırm was taken to Istanbul’s Ataşehir district Thursday morning, but he was unable to determine the apartment at which he allegedly acquired the explosives despite a three-hour search.
Yıldırım said the surroundings of the neighborhood had changed in the four years since he had been in the area, meaning he could not locate the apartment despite a three-hour search.
Ergenekon is an alleged gang which has been accused of plotting to overthrow the government by fomenting social chaos.