Turkey: high officials get life in trial for failed coup

For military that occupied State TV and Erdogan guards chief

07 April, 14:44

    ISTANBUL - A Turkish court has sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment several defendants in a maxi trial against 495 people accused of taking part in a failed coup on July 15, 2016. Anadolu news agency reported that the defendants sentenced to life included the former lieutenant colonel Umit Gençer, who read on state television Trt the statement of the coup leaders, and Tanju Poshor, who led the occupation of the headquarters of Trt. The former chief of the presidential palace's guards of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former major Osman Koltar, also got a life term.

    Overall, 22 former members of the military were sentenced to life imprisonment. They were found guilty of charges including "attempt to overhaul the constitutional order" and "attempted murder of the president". The majority of defendants, already evicted by the armed forces after the failed coup, had served in the presidential guards of Ankara. Turkey has claimed that the network of magnate and imam Fethullah Gulen is behind the coup.

    The self-exiled Gulen, who lives in the US, was formerly an ally of Erdogan against the old Kemalist guard of the army.

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