Coup attempt: Trial starts in Turkey


The first court case against suspected plotters of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey started in Istanbul on Tuesday, with 29 former policemen standing trial, broadcast CNN Turk reported.
A life sentence is possible for 21 of the officers accused of attempting to overthrow the Recep Erdoğan led Government, while eight could get up to 15 years in jail for membership in a terrorist organisation.
The accused are charged with seeking to overthrow the government as well as allegedly being members of the group led by U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who the authorities accused of leading the plot.
Gulen, who Ankara wants to see extradited from the U.S., vehemently denies the charges.
The trial got under way with the reading out of the names of the accused and judge Fikret Demir reading the indictment, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
This was expected to be followed by arguments for the defence. Initial hearings are expected to last until Friday.
Amid tight security, special forces in camouflage gear stood guard outside the courthouse.
Those accused are alleged to have refused to protect President Erdogan’s residence in Istanbul on the night of the coup.
More than 40,000 suspects have been detained in relation to the coup, according to official sources.


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