Turkish court acquits hundreds in 'Sledgehammer' case
Over 200 people cleared of charges linked to alleged 2003 military coup plot case against Turkish government.

A high court in Turkey has cancelled convictions against 236 defendants in the country’s long-running "Sledgehammer” military coup plot case.

The Anadolu 4th High Criminal Court in Istanbul made the decision on Tuesday.

Earlier a public prosecutor had demanded the acquittal of hundreds of defendants in the high-profile case.

Ramazan Oksuz submitted his legal consideration after the court began a retrial of suspects.

"Sledgehammer" ("Balyoz" in Turkish) is the name of a plot allegedly cooked up by a junta in the Turkish Armed Forces to overthrow the government.

The plan is said to date back to 2003, one year after the ruling Justice and Development Party came to power. It allegedly aimed at undermining the government to lay the groundwork for a military takeover.

In an earlier verdict, the Turkish Supreme Court had sentenced the defendants to between six and 20 years imprisonment in September 2012.

However, Turkey’s Constitutional Court unanimously overruled that verdict in June 2014 on the grounds that the rights of the defendants had been violated, especially from digital data collection and wiretapping.

At least 236 defendants have testified in the case, which includes several former high-ranking military officers.

Retired generals Cetin Dogan, Halil Ibrahim Firtina, retired admiral Ozden Ornek, Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party lawmaker Engin Alan have all appeared in court.

According to the public prosecutor, sound recording documents, which were accepted as evidence for this case, are not connected to the coup plot.

At the end of his consideration, Oksuz has requested the cancellation of the 236 defendants’ convictions and asked for their acquittal.

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Last Modified: 2015-04-01 08:10:55
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