Fourth Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul’s Anadolu courthouse released its detailed decision on the Balyoz case on Wednesday regarding the 236 suspects which it had acquitted on March 31 from charges of plotting a coup against the Turkish government.
Court ruling said, “It was certainly determined that two CDs delivered by a journalist were fabricated and led to strong suspicions regarding the other digital evidences submitted. The documents submitted as proof did not have any evidential value since they were only print outs and did not have original signature on them.”
The Balyoz, translated as the “Sledgehammer”, investigation was launched in 2010 after Taraf daily columnist Mehmet Baransu published documents alleging a coup is being planned against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government by working and retired high ranking military officers .
On March 2, Baransu was detained and referred to court for arrest over charges of plotting against the defendants of the Balyoz case. He is awaiting trial at Istanbul’s Metris prison on charges of “destroying information about national security, using information for illegal purposes and illegally obtaining information on national security” and faces life imprisonment.
Local media reports that the former wife of Baransu testified that a Gülenist journalist that had deep ties to the ultra-nationalist leftist groups in the past, Tuncay Opçin, had provided Baransu the documents and was paid by him in return.
Baransu is known to have close ties with the Gulen Movement led by U.S. based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are thought to be positioned in critical state institutions such as police force and judiciary as well as the media.
The movement was accused of trying to overthrow the elected government in an operation between the dates of December 17-25 last year.
According to the detailed ruling, “There was not enough evidence that is above suspicion and convincing, to keep the defendants in jail over the accused charges.”
“Despite the ability of the defendants to gather secretly, the organization of a public seminar where a coup plans were discussed and the recording of seminar talks, violating the privacy rules, were not found to be in line with ordinary flow of life,” the ruling said, adding, “the government they were accused of attempting to overthrow was only four months old which was found to be against logic.”