HSYK allows prosecution of prosecutors, military commanders who stopped MIT trucks

The top judicial body has formally cleared the way for legal proceedings to begin against five prosecutors and three gendarmerie commanders who were involved in a search of Syria-bound trucks in January of 2014.
Four of the prosecutors and one of the commanders were imprisoned in early May in connection with the interception.
The 2nd Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) allowed the prosecution of former Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Sanduleyman Bairiyanik, former Adana Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Ahmet Karaca and Adana prosecutors Aziz Takandci, andOzcan iiiman and Yaiar Kavalcioilu. It also ruled to investigate Gendarmerie Commanders Col. andOzkan andcokay, Erdal Yilmaz and Kubilay Ayvaz.
Bairiyanik, Karaca, Takandci and iiiman as well as former Adana provincial gendarmerie commander Col. andcokay were imprisoned in early May on charges of andquotattempting 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 stateandquot in connection with the search of what turned out to be weapon-filled trucks being operated by the National Intelligence Organization (MiT).
HSYK 2nd Chamber Chairman Mehmet Yilmaz said the chamber convened with six members as one of the seven members was overseas. The decision to allow for a trial of the prosecutors and the commanders was approved with a majority vote.
The two members who voted against the decision criticized the arrest of the prosecutors before the HSYK had ruled to allow their prosecution, according to Yilmaz. The members also said the prosecutors were still under investigation when they were arrested and that they had not been given sufficient time to present their defense.
Prosecutors are now expected to start preparing an indictment against the prosecutors and the commanders within five days after receiving the HSYKand’s decision clearing the way for their prosecution.
According to Yilmaz, the HSYK also debated the case of the three gendarmerie commanders because the HSYK is authorized to oversee criminal investigations into and prosecutions of senior law enforcement officials.
In January 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 the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to Turkmens in Syria and branded the interception an act of and”treason and espionage.and” However, the Cumhuriyet daily recently published photos and videos of arms which it said were transferred to Syria in trucks operated by the MiT.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Cumhuriyet and its editor-in-chief, Can Dandundar, for publishing the footage, publicly vowing that Dandundar andquotwill pay a heavy priceandquot for the reporting. He then personally sued Dandundar, demanding a life sentence, an aggravated life sentence and an additional 42-year term of imprisonment on charges of a wide array of crimes ranging from espionage to attempting to topple the government and exposing secret information.
HSYKand’s Yilmaz, who was criticized after andquotapologizingandquot to President Erdogan who chastised the HSYK for acting late against two judges who ruled for release of arrested suspects in a different case, defended Thursdayand’s decision in the name of safeguarding the reputation of the judiciary.
andquotIt is undisputedly clear that investigations launched without a consideration of the sense of justice, in the name of pursuing other motives, will negatively affect social peace and security and eliminate respect for and the credibility of the judiciary,andquot he told reporters.

h2Arrested prosecutorsand’ lawyers: Prosecution completely unlawfulh2 Lawyers representing the prosecutors who were involved in the search of Syria-bound trucks held a joint press conference on Thursday, saying the prosecution of their clients is unlawful from start to finish.
The lawyers said, and”Our clients were arrested as a result of a legal proceeding on May 8 that has cast a black stain on the history of the Turkish judiciary.and”
Speaking on behalf of the lawyers, lawyer Aziz Erbek said the HSYK is completely operating under the orders of the government.
Erbek said a report prepared by a HSYK inspector, whose report was the basis of the arrest of the prosecutors by the Tarsus 2nd High Criminal Court on May 8, is completely baseless and includes imaginary statements and visions. The lawyer claimed the Tarsus 2nd High Criminal Court was specially appointed by the HSYK to arrest the prosecutors, adding if the same inspection report was referred to another court, it would not have arrested the prosecutors.
Pointing out that some media outlets had already reported that the prosecutors had been arrested nine hours before the testimonies of the prosecutors were completely taken by the court, Erbek said these reports made even before the court had handed down its decision to arrest clearly show that the decision was given based on political orders.
The lawyer also said they had been exposed to various unlawful treatments and restrictions while defending their clients, adding that their clients were just doing their jobs.
Erbek added that their clients had been arrested even though there was no evidence shown against the prosecutors.
Pointing to the video footage published by the Cumhuriyet daily, Erbek said the video also proves that the prosecutors were doing their jobs. and”Those prosecutors should have been declared as heroes,and” Erbek emphasized.
and”Those who escorted the trucks refused to show their MiT IDs despite the insistence of our clients that day. How can those who stop a truck full of arms be deemed spies and how can a prosecutor who stopped those trucks be a coup plotter? We have lost our expectations of the impartiality of judges and the judiciary, which are under the complete influence of the political administration,and” added Erbek.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman