Mass trial of Turkey al­leged coup lead­ers re­sumes

Iran Daily - - International -

A mass trial re­sumed in Turkey on Mon­day of more than 220 sus­pects, in­clud­ing for­mer gen­er­als, ac­cused of be­ing among the ring­leaders of last year’s coup bid to un­seat Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan.

The sus­pects face life sen­tences if con­victed of charges rang­ing from us­ing vi­o­lence to try to over­throw the gov­ern­ment and par­lia­ment, to killing nearly 250 peo­ple, AFP wrote.

Turkey blames the July 2016 coup at­tempt on Mus­lim cleric Fethul­lah Gulen, a claim he strongly de­nies.

Gulen, who lives in self-im­posed ex­ile in the United States, is among sev­eral of the 221 sus­pects named in the in­dict­ment who are on the run.

The rest are due to ap­pear in court in Sin­can near the cap­i­tal Ankara at a fa­cil­ity that was pur­pose-built to hear coup-re­lated tri­als.

The at­tempted coup on July 15, 2016, left 249 peo­ple dead, not count­ing 24 plot­ters.

Also among the sus­pects in one of Turkey’s high­est-pro­file pros­e­cu­tions are sev­eral high-rank­ing mil­i­tary of­fi­cers in­clud­ing ex-air force com­man­der Akin Oz­turk.

Sev­eral are ac­cused of lead­ing the so-called “Peace At Home Coun­cil”, the name the plot­ters are said to have given them­selves the night of the failed over­throw.

The judge told the court nearly 70 ter­abytes worth of im­ages from se­cu­rity cam­eras at the mil­i­tary head­quar­ters dur­ing the coup bid would be given to lawyers, state-run news agency Anadolu said.

At the open­ing of the trial in May, al­leged coup plot­ters were booed by pro­test­ers as they en­tered the court­room, with some shout­ing slo­gans in fa­vor of the death penalty for the sus­pects.

Fifty-six sus­pects gave their de­fense over four weeks af­ter the trial opened, Anadolu said, and the tes­ti­monies would con­tinue on Mon­day.

The trial is one of many be­ing held across the coun­try to judge the coup sus­pects in what is the big­gest le­gal process of Turkey’s mod­ern his­tory.

The gov­ern­ment has launched a mas­sive crack­down un­der state of emer­gency laws im­posed in the wake of the failed coup which have been ex­tended sev­eral times.

Over 140,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ees, have been sacked or sus­pended over al­leged links to the coup while 50,000 peo­ple have been ar­rested since July 2016.

AP

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