Appeals court rules to keep prosecutors, colonel in prison in MİT truck case

An indictment, which was approved by the Tarsus High Criminal Court in July, seeks a life sentence for Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Suleyman Bagrıyanık, former Adana Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Ahmet Karaca and Adana prosecutors Aziz Takcı and Ozcan Sisman, as well as Gendarmerie Commander Col. Ozkan Cokay.

The Supreme Court of Appeals is hearing the case of the suspects as it is the only body which can try judges and prosecutors in Turkey.

At a hearing on Thursday the 16th Penal Chamber of the court ruled to keep all the five men in prison.

Bagrıyanık, Karaca, Takcı and Sisman as well as former Adana provincial commander Cokay were imprisoned in early May on charges of “attempting to topple or incapacitate the Turkish government through the use of force or coercion and exposing information regarding the security and political activities of the state” in connection with the search of what turned out to be weapon-filled trucks being operated by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

In January of 2014, gendarmes stopped Syria-bound trucks in the southern provinces of Adana and Hatay after prosecutors received tips that the vehicles were illegally carrying arms to Syria. The weapons were allegedly intended for extremist groups in Syria.

The government claimed at the time that the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to Turkmens in Syria and branded the interception an act of “treason and espionage.” However, the Cumhuriyet daily recently published photos and videos of arms which it said were transferred to Syria in trucks operated by the MİT.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Cumhuriyet and its editor-in-chief, Can Dundar, for publishing the evidence, publicly vowing that Dundar “will pay a heavy price” for his reporting. He then personally sued Dundar and is demanding a life sentence, an aggravated life sentence and an additional 42-year term of imprisonment on charges of a variety of crimes ranging from espionage to attempting to topple the government and exposing secret information.


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