Turkish ex-army chief dimisses trial

2012-03-27 13:03
Silivri - Turkey's former armed forces chief General Ilker Basbug said on Tuesday he would not defend himself against terrorism charges, describing the allegations against him as a "comedy" and calling for his trial to be heard by the supreme court.

Such a trial of a top military figure would have been unthinkable before Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan took on the power of a military that had dominated Turkey for decades.

Basbug, accused of involvement in a plot to overthrow the government, told the court he had no respect for the indictment, saying the allegations were against the Turkish armed forces and were a serious insult to the state.

"I regard it as an injustice to the Turkish Armed Forces and the rank which I held in it to make a defence in your presence. Hence I will not defend myself and I will not answer any questions," Basbug said to applause from around 40 spectators in the court.

Basbug, chief of staff in 2008 - 2010, is accused of being a leader of a shadowy network dubbed Ergenekon, behind a string of alleged plots against the government of Erdogan.

Ergenekon is accused of planning campaigns of disinformation, bombings and assassinations to stir panic and precipitate an army coup.
Read more on:    turkey  |  security

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