486 people appear in court over Turkey coup plot

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Ankara, Aug 1 (IANS) A total of 486 people accused of being involved in Turkey’s failed coup d’état last July appeared in a court here where their trial began on Tuesday.

According to the Anadolu news agency, most defendants at the trial, the largest judicial process of the case so far, are high-ranking military suspects who led the failed coup from the Akinci air base in the north-west of the Turkish capital.

The prosecution accused the defendants of murder, violation of the constitution and attempt to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports Efe news.

The defendants include 461 people under pre-trial detention and 18 released on parole awaiting trial, while seven are fugitives.

Among those to be tried in absentia is Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen, exiled in the US and whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating the failed coup.

Turkish authorities are searching for Adil Oksuz, who is accused of coordinating the coup with rebels.

Oksuz was arrested after the failed coup but was released shortly thereafter.

The judicial hearings are expected to be extended until August 29.

On July 15, 2016, Turkish military units took to the streets and controlled strategic points of the country, leaving a total of 248 people killed in clashes.

Since then, tens of thousands of people with suspected links to Gulen have been either detained or dismissed from their jobs, including members from the armed forces, police and judiciary, media and professors.

–IANS

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