Turkish court rejects request for new judges in coup case

Turkish court overturned a request by some suspects and their lawyers for new judges in the Sledgehammer case.

Turkish court rejects request for new judges in coup case

World Bulletin / News Desk

An İstanbul court on Monday overturned a request by some suspects and their lawyers for new judges in the Sledgehammer case in which many retired and active duty members of the military stand accused of having plotted to overthrow the government.

A number of suspects in the case and their lawyers had appealed to the İstanbul 11th High Criminal Court to remove judges Ali Efendi Peksak, Davut Bedir and Murat Üründü from the case and appoint new judges in their place. The court, however, turned down the request on Monday.

In July the three judges had ordered the arrest of 102 suspects in the investigation into the Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan. Sledgehammer is a suspected military plan that aimed to create an atmosphere of chaos in the country through a series of acts of violence that would eventually lead to a military coup. The plan became public in late January after it was published in a Turkish daily. The subversive plan is believed to have been prepared by retired Gen. Çetin Doğan. The general was arrested twice earlier this year but was later released from prison for reasons of health.

There are 196 suspects in the Sledgehammer case, all retired and active duty members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). They are expected to appear before the judges for a second time on Tuesday at the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court. The suspects are accused of a failed attempt to destroy Parliament and overthrow the government. Such a charge calls for a jail sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The first hearing was held on Dec. 16.

According to the Sledgehammer plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through violent acts, 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.

Last Mod: 27 Aralık 2010, 15:34
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