Final verdict expected in Sledgehammer coup case

A total of 249 suspects were present at the 107th hearing of the case on Thursday with 16 suspects standing trial without being under arrest.

Final verdict expected in Sledgehammer coup case

World Bulletin / News Desk

The final hearing of a coup plot case known as Balyoz (Sledgehammer) began on Thursday in the Silivri Courthouse and the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court, which is hearing the case, is expected to deliver its final verdict.

A total of 249 suspects were present at the 107th hearing of the case on Thursday with 16 suspects standing trial without being under arrest. The court is currently hearing the final statements of the accused before delivering its verdict.

The majority of the accused have made their statements in the previous hearings, but some have refused to do so, arguing that they have not been given a fair trial.

Sledgehammer is a suspected coup plot believed to have been devised in 2003 with the aim of unseating the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government through violent acts. According to the Sledgehammer plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through acts of violence, among which were planned bomb attacks on the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in İstanbul. The plot allegedly sought to undermine the government to lay the groundwork for a coup d'état. The military, which has overthrown three governments since 1960 and pressured a conservative government to step down in 1997, has denied the existence of such a plan.

There are 365 suspects, all retired or active duty members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), in the Sledgehammer coup case. A total of 250 of the suspects are currently detained as part of the trial. The suspects include retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, former Air Force Commander İbrahim Fırtına, former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek and retired Gen. Engin Alan.

Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2012, 16:03
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