In addition to Yıldırım, three other arrested suspects, Fenerbahçe Deputy Chairman İlhan Ekşioğlu, Fenerbahçe manager Tamer Yelkovan and football manager Ali Kıratlı, demanded their release via their lawyers. Other jailed suspects, including former Giresunspor Chairman Olgun Peker, did not file any such request.
A petition submitted by Trabzonspor to be co-plaintiffs in the case has not yet arrived at the court. On Friday, the court received a statement given by a secret witness in the case into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. The secret witness, called Poyraz, said during an Ergenekon hearing in January that a game between Beşiktaş and Samsunspor had been rigged. He did not specify which game, only that the match was won by Samsunspor.
Yıldırım is the highest-profile suspect in a case that concerns claims that club officials and footballers were rigging games in the Spor Toto Super League, which ended in May with Fenerbahçe winning the trophy, as well as the Bank Asya League 1. Yıldırım has denied any wrongdoing. The 93 suspects implicated in the case, including 23 who have been jailed pending trial, are facing prison terms ranging between nine months and 115 years.
The allegations emerged last July when police detained those accused of involvement in rigging 13 matches, including Fenerbahçe's 4-3 victory over Sivasspor, which clinched the league championship on the final day of the season. Alongside Fenerbahçe and Sivasspor, the indictment also names Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor. Fourteen players are among the defendants.
Meanwhile Fenerbahçe Deputy Chairman Nihat Özdemir said Yıldırım is likely to run for the Fenerbahçe chairmanship again in May's club congress. “He might be a candidate. I hope he will be. Then it is up to the Fenerbahçe board [who to elect as chairman],” he said during a seminar in Bursa on Friday.