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Turkey sentences 38 former soldiers to life in prison in 2016 coup trial

Turkey sentences 38 former soldiers to life in prison in 2016 coup trial

dpa
Istanbul
A court in Ankara on Wednesday sentenced 38 former senior soldiers to life in prison in a major trial over the failed 2016 coup by a military faction.
Six of the defendants received aggravated life sentences for “violating the constitution,” according to state news agency Anadolu.
Aggravated life sentences are the most severe prison terms possible in Turkey since the abolishing of death penalty in 2002. There is no chance for parole. The court handed 106 defendants jail sentences of up to more than 16 years for violating the constitution, Anadolu said.
Other charges included attempted assassination of the president. A total of 121 people were acquitted of all charges.
The trial against a total of 497 defendants, including former soldiers from the presidential guard regiment, has been under way since
October 2017.
Prosecutors had accused the suspects of occupying the state broadcaster TRT headquarters in Ankara on the night of the coup, July 15, 2016, and forcing the news anchorwoman to read out the putschists’ statement.
Ankara blames the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the abortive putsch and has designated his movement as a terrorist group.
The cleric, an ally-turned-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denies the charges.
Out of a total of 289 trials over the coup attempt, 14 are still ongoing, according to Anadolu.

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