Birol Kurubaş, a civilian accused of planning July 15, 2016 coup attempt with others, appeared before a court in the capital city Ankara and denied the evidence implicating him in the case repeatedly.
Kurubaş faces life imprisonment for being one of civilian co-conspirators of the putsch attempt that killed 249 people. The coup attempt is blamed on Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), which used its infiltrators in the military to topple the government. Along with Adil Öksüz, fugitive point man of FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, Kurubaş convened with top generals in a villa in Ankara days before the coup bid to plan the attempt, prosecutors say.
His fingerprints were discovered in a bottle found in the villa before Kurubaş was arrested in Istanbul in the aftermath of the coup attempt. He said the bottle "might have made its way to the villa somehow" and claimed he has not been in Ankara between July 5-10, dates when so-called members of putschists' Peace At Home Council convened in the villa in the company of "civilian" FETÖ members.
"I would flee if I was part of the coup attempt," Kurubaş told the court that is trying him and generals who attended the meeting of the putschists. He explained away his phone calls to Cemil Koca and Barbaros Kocakurt as "business calls," stating that both men who are the senior figures of FETÖ, were "executives of the company" he worked at. He also dismissed testimonies by secret eyewitnesses who told investigators that the defendant was in the villa for coup meetings. The defendant acknowledged his ties to FETÖ though, claiming he only sympathized with them while the terrorist group promoted itself as a religious group.