Defendants’ request for new judges in weapon-laden MİT trucks case approved

A formal request was made on Thursday at the third hearing in the case, held at the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The attorneys for the prosecutors asked for a new panel of judges on grounds that the existing panel was not impartial. After a break, the chamber accepted the request.

On Jan. 1, 2014, an anonymous tip led to the search of a number of trucks suspected of smuggling weapons in Hatay province. It was later discovered that the vehicles, filled with weapons, belonged to MİT. Another anonymous tip led to the search of three additional trucks also found to be transporting weapons in Adana on Jan. 19, 2014. The arms were allegedly intended for extremist groups in Syria.

Searching the MİT trucks led to the arrest of prosecutors Suleyman Bagrıyanık, Ahmet Karaca, Aziz Takcı and Ozcan Sisman, as well as Col. Ozkan Cokay, in May 2015 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.”

A life sentence is sought for the five defendants.

At Thursday’s hearing, only Col. Cokay presented his defense, as he did not request a replacement panel of judges. The four prosecutors will present their defense after the new panel of judges is formed.


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