Arsenal Consulting’s Computer Forensics Findings Lead to Release of Former Turkish First Army Commander

By: Arsenal Consulting
BOSTON - June 30, 2014 - PRLog -- The Constitutional Court of Turkey ruled unanimously on June 18 that 237 suspects convicted of being involved in the alleged planning of a Turkish military coup called “Sledgehammer” had their rights violated concerning “digital data and defendant testimony.”  The Constitutional Court’s ruling resulted in a lower court ordering the release, pending retrial, of 236 suspects (Navy Colonel Murat Özenalp died on May 1 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage in prison) on June 19.  Among those released was the primary Sledgehammer defendant Çetin Doğan, former Commander of the Turkish First Army and Arsenal Consulting’s ( client.

Arsenal’s reports regarding electronic evidence tampering have weighed heavily in the high-profile Turkish trials known as Sledgehammer and Ergenekon.  Arsenal’s relentless work culminated recently in a court ordering TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) to answer a series of questions regarding a hard drive (“Hard Drive No. 5”) seized from the Turkish Naval Command.  Hard Drive No. 5 is a critical piece of evidence to both the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon trials.  TÜBİTAK’s answers to Arsenal’s questions confirmed that Hard Drive No. 5 had been tampered with.

Attorney Hüseyin Ersöz, who represents Çetin Doğan, welcomed the Commander's release and reflected on Arsenal's role.  "Arsenal Consulting has established the importance of ‘Digital Forensics’ in Turkey.  They have been instrumental in educating the public about the tampering of electronic evidence and its impact on judicial processes...  for these reasons, Arsenal's contribution to the rule of law in Turkey is undeniable."

Arsenal’s work holds great significance for the digital forensics community, as the volume of evidence tampering and the types of analysis required to uncover it are unprecedented.  Arsenal pushed the limits of existing tools and methodologies so aggressively that they had to be improved.  Some of these improvements are explained in the Digital Forensics Magazine article “Beyond Timelines—Anchors in Relative Time” (

Mark Spencer, Arsenal’s President, said, “We knew early in our involvement with Sledgehammer and Ergenekon that there were serious problems with the electronic evidence which other digital forensics vendors and government agencies failed to identify.  We spent hundreds of hours analyzing evidence related to these trials.  When it became clear that the defendants could no longer financially support our work, we continued on a pro-bono basis.  We have a strong sense of ‘doing the right thing’ at Arsenal, and continuing our work on these trials was the right thing to do.”

Mark Spencer recently presented Arsenal’s Sledgehammer and Ergenekon findings at the U.S. Cyber Crime Conference and a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by the Turkish Policy Center.  Details on additional presentations will be made available on the Arsenal website.

About Arsenal Consulting

Arsenal provides comprehensive digital forensics services to a broad base of clients that includes law firms, corporations, and government agencies.  Arsenal leverages battle-tested digital forensics tools and techniques refined through years of research, testing, and design to preserve and analyze electronic evidence in ways that withstand technical and legal scrutiny.  Using the most powerful tools and techniques, Arsenal uncovers smoking guns that others simply cannot.

Mark Spencer

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