06 October 2017 :
A Turkish court found 42 former soldiers guilty of trying to kill President Tayyip Erdogan during last year’s failed coup, and handed most of them life sentences in the highest profile case related to the attempted putsch so far.
Judge Emirsah Bastog read out guilty verdicts for 42 of the 47 defendants, according to a Reuters reporter at the court in Mugla, southwestern Turkey.
Mugla is near the luxury resort where Erdogan and his family narrowly escaped a team of rogue soldiers who stormed his hotel during the night of the coup.
The trial, which started in February and included Erdogan as a co-plaintiff, is part of a sweeping security crackdown that followed the failed putsch of July 2016. It is the biggest such case to reach a conclusion so far.
“I hope the verdict today is beneficial to everyone,” Bastog said as he sentenced 34 of the accused to “aggravated” life sentences, the harshest punishment possible under Turkish law because it lengthens the minimum sentence required for parole.
Another six defendants were given life terms while two others were given lesser sentences.
“(Several) defendants have been found guilty on the charge of attempting to assassinate the president,” Bastog told the packed courtroom.
One was acquitted and another was transferred to another court.
No verdict was given for three who were tried in absentia, including US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating the coup.