Turkish court hands down life sentences to dozens of officers in 2016 coup trial

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A Turkish court has handed down life sentences to 92 military officers for their alleged roles in a failed coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The latest hearing in the trial of 132 military members, including high-ranking Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) officers, took place at the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court on Thursday. The trial concerns incidents that occurred at the Turkish Land Forces Command in Ankara on the night of the failed coup.

Twelve of the defendants were handed down aggravated life sentences, while 80 of them were given life sentences on charges of attempting to destroy the constitutional order.

The court gave prison sentences ranging from 12 years, six months to 19 years to 22 of the defendants on various charges, while the remaining defendants were acquitted.

There were 132 defendants in the trial.

According to an earlier report from Anadolu, Turkish courts by November had handed down sentences to 4,154 defendants in 137 cases involving the failed coup in 2016.

A total of 289 cases were launched against coup suspects, Anadolu said, adding that 279 of the cases have been concluded.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup, which claimed the lives of more than 240 people and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Apart from coup trials, thousands of others have been convicted of membership in or leading a terrorist group after they were detained over alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

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