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    Turkish court recesses day-3 in Ergenekon trial until Tuesday

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    27.10.2008 - 08:49 | Son Güncelleme: 27.10.2008 - 17:32

    A Turkish court recessed the third day of hearings in Turkey's controversial Ergenekon case until Tuesday, broadcaster CNNTurk reported. (UPDATED)

    The panel of judges started to read the 2,455-page indictment in Monday's hearings. Reading the indictment in the trial is expected to take up to a month.

     

    All 86 people accused of membership to a group that allegedly plotted to overthrow Turkey's Islamist-rooted government in the complex and politically charged case are being tried together in Monday’s hearing.               

     

    Judges scrapped an earlier decision to try the 46 separately from another 40 defendants released on bail.

     

    The identities of the 40, who did not attend the previous hearing, would be confirmed by court officials in the hearing at a prison complex in Istanbul’s Silivri district on the outskirts of Istanbul.

     

    In the third session of the trial, the judges will rule on whether or not to read the 2,455-page indictment that experts say would take up to a month.

     

    PUBLIC DIVIDED

    Ergenekon, one of the most controversial cases in modern Turkish history, has divided the public into three camps.

     

    One camp believes the case is being used as a cover by the government to suppress its opponents, while another camp, mostly pro-AKP experts and media organs, say the case is a major step in efforts to enhance Turkey's democracy.

     

    The third camp, mostly academics and experts, believe the trial would not result in any concrete gains for democracy as the indictment for the case is weak.

     

    Those indicted to stand trial will answer about 30 separate charges in the document, ranging from membership to a "terrorist organization" and instigating an armed uprising against the government, to arson and illegal possession of weapons.

     

    The trial at the heavily-guarded Silivri prison is expected to take months to complete.

     

    ADDITIONAL INDICTMENT AWAITED

    The Ergenekon operation started in June 2007 with the discovery of grenades in a house in Istanbul’s Umraniye district.

     

    Four people, including an opponent journalist Merdan Yanardag, were detained Sunday in the latest wave of the controversial operation.

     

    Another indictment would be submitted for those detained in the latest waves of the operation, including two retired generals, journalists and a business group leader.

     

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