Following the joining of files in 2010 from the 11 defendants being sued under the 1999 criminal charge and the 5 defendants being sued under the 2005 criminal charge, the case is now being referred to as the Main JİTEM* Case. Upon the former hitman of JİTEM’s, Abdülkadir Aygan, having pointed at Hamit Yıldırım as the assailant of the writer and journalist Musa Anter on Sept. 20, 1992, Yıldırım was placed under detention on June 29, 2012 and was arrested on July 2, 2012 which prevented the case from being placed under the statute of limitations. Following the investigation, the criminal charge dated June 25, 2013 was accepted by the Diyarbakır 7th Penal Court on July 5, 2013, while the joinder of the Musa Anter Case with that of the Main JİTEM Case was accepted by the 1st Penal Court in Diyarbakır where it was already under consideration. In 2015, the Musa Anter Case was transferred to Ankara “on grounds of security”. When The 6th Penal Court of Ankara objected to the transfer, The 5th Penal Department of the Supreme Court of Appeal decided on January 29, 2016 that the legal action concerning the two cases be consolidated.
In this trial two cases have been merged and 18 defendants are being held responsible for the killing of 13 individuals, one of whom is the writer and journalist Musa Anter. In the official indictment concerning the killing of Musa Anter on September 20, 1992, the suspects, listed as Mahmut Yıldırım (code name Yeşil=Green), Aziz Turan (Abdülkadir Aygan), Savaş Gevrekçi and Hamit Yıldırım are accused of “plotting to kill, acting as accomplices in this plot and inciting the public to armed rebellion” under articles 450/4-5 and 149 of the old Turkish Penal Code and that they be punished accordingly, while in the main JITEM case, many of the accused members of special operations team, were charged with “forming an entity with the aim of engaging in criminal activity and killing more than one persons”.
In the hearing held on March 14, 2016, former head of the National Intelligence Service’s Counter-Terrorism Unit Mehmet Eymür and Ankara Police Commissioner at the time, Orhan Taşanlar were heard as witness. The court panel decided that at the next hearing retired Gendarmerie Brigadier General Veli Küçük**, and, Director of the Police Intelligence Unit at the time Hüseyin Özbilgin, be heard as witnesses. In addition, it rejected a demand by the lawyers of both the plaintiff and the defendant that their cases be tried separately.
On April 25, 2016 Veli Küçük, who was expected to appear as witness before court, sent in a plead and did not come to court, while Police Intelligence Department Chief, Hüseyin Bilgin, who was present in court, gave his testimony as witness. Orhan Miroğlu, who was hurt during the assassination of Musa Anter was present in court with his lawyers. The Court decided that Veli Küçük be subpoenaed again to appear as witness; that Mehmet Eymür, who had testified as witness in the former hearing, be subpoenaed again to bring the documents concerning the interrogation of Mahmut Yıldırım before the court.
Veli Küçük, who was expected to be present in court as witness in the June 20, 2016 hearing of the Musa Anter and the Main JİTEM Court Case did not come. In the intermediate hearing the lawyers gave a petition asking that a notification be sent to the court where Küçük resides so that he can give his testimony via the SEGBİS*** system, that a copy of the documents sent by MIT (National Intelligence Service) to the Ankara JİTEM Case be asked to be delivered to the 1st Penal Court of Ankara and that defendant Hamit Yıldırım’s detention be continued. The request of the lawyers of the Anter family that former Emergency Region Governor Ünal Erkan, m.p Sinan Yerlikaya and former Minister of the Interior Meral Akşener be heard as witnesses in court was rejected.
Before the trial date Diyarbakır 3rd High Criminal Court heard Nevin Soyukaya and Samet Aydın as witnesses on September 22, 2016. Veli Küçük, on the other hand, gave his statement at the court on the scheduled hearing date on September 26, 2016 via the audio-visual communication system. On the other hand, since Abdülkadir Aygan did not acquiesce to giving his statement using the audio-visual communication system, it was decided for certain that his deposition should be taken in Sweden. It was also decided to send a dispatch to the Ministry of Justice so that both the parties would be present while the statements were being taken.
At the hearing held on December 28, 2016, defendant Ali Ozansoy (Ahmet Turan Altaylı) who is also confessor, gave his testimony. The video interview of another defendant, Abdulkadir Aygan was watched in the court room and recorded. The court decided to listen Cahit Aydın, former Commander of Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-Terror Unit (JİTEM) as a witness.
During the hearing held on March 14, 2017, Aziz Aksu was heard as witness. Cahit Aydin who was expected to be heard as witness requested that he appear as witness via the audio-visual SEGBIS system since he “sensed he was being bullied and did not feel at ease that his security was assured.” His request was accepted by the court. Of the lawyers who attended the hearing, Selim Okçuoğlu drew attention to the fact that decisions taken during the last hearing were not being complied with. Per demand of Selim Okçuoğlu, it was decided that Ahmet Cem Ersever’s job at the time, and before the murder of Musa Anter, and the specific date of when Ersever left Diyarbakır be learned from the Gendarmerie General Command.
During the June 7, 2017 hearing, Head of the Diyarbakır Gendarmerie Intelligence Unit at the time, Hüseyin Özbilgin, and Muhsin Kızılkaya, former m.p from AKP and working for the Özgür Gündem newspaper at the time, were heard as witnesses. Concerning the testimony of Abdülkadir Aygan, the letter from the Ministry of Justice’s International Law and Foreign Relations General Directorate, informed the parties that questions be prepared and presented to court, following which, the date set by the government of Sweden would be communicated to both sides.
During the last hearing held on September 27, 2017, Mehmet Sinanoğlu, Nevin Soyukaya and Turgut Atalay gave their statement via the SEGBIS –the audio-visual system. Their attendant lawyer asked that Hamit Yıldırım, who had been released following the former hearing, since his 5-year prison term was up on June 28, 2017, be imprisoned again based on decree law (KHK) no. 694’s article 141. The court board refused this request as well as the request of the defense attorneys’ that the judicial control decision be either lifted or narrowed down, requiring that it continue as before.
The next hearing will be on December 20, 2017 at 10 a.m.
* JİTEM (Gendarmerie intelligence and anti-terror unit).
** Veli Küçük is a retired Turkish brigadier-general. He is thought to be the founder of the JİTEM intelligence arm of the Turkish Gendarmerie
*** SEGBİS (Audio and Visual Information System)