Turkey coup plot: Senior suspects released in probe
Ankara: A Turkish court has freed three top-level suspects in an alleged 2003 military coup plot hours after the Army chief and civilian leadership pledged to resolve tensions sparked by the probe.
It was not immediately clear whether the retired generals and admiral would face trial over the plot but the prosecutor in charge said he had released two of them because there was no risk they would flee abroad.
The former heads of Turkey's Navy and Air Force, Ozden Ornek and Ibrahim Firtina, were allowed to walk free, but the Army's former number two, Ergin Saygun, was ordered to regularly report to police, media reports said yesterday.
"I came here to clarify some misunderstandings on issues that were being presented as facts" against the armed forces, Firtina told reporters outside the Istanbul court house after his release.
"I believe I have done this satisfactorily and I am with you now," he added.
Prosecutor Turan Collakkadi said Firtina and Ornek were released because there was no risk they would flee abroad.
"We had questioned them in December. There was no attempt to tamper with evidence. Since they are still residing at the same addresses..., we released them on the grounds that they will not run away," Colakkadi was quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying.