TURKEY

Indictment demands life sentences for FETO accused

INDICTMENT DEMANDS LIFE SENTENCES FOR FETO ACCUSED

The city's 29th High Criminal Court accepted The 841-page indictment prepared by Istanbul Counterterrorism and Organized Crime Prosecutor Can Tuncay against 92 suspects linked to failed 15 July coup attempt.

A court on Monday accepted an indictment against 92 suspects linked to last year's coup attempt, a judicial official said.

Eighty-five of the suspects -- 73 gendarmes and 12 civilians -- face life sentences while seven other civilians could be jailed for 22-and-a-half years if convicted, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

The suspects are all said to be members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the network accused of staging the July 15 failed coup, in which 250 people were slain.

Among the accused gendarmes was Gurcan Sercan, the commander of Istanbul's Provincial Gendarmerie Command at the time of the attempted coup.

The 19 civilians are said to have been FETO "imams" who led suspected FETO members in the gendarmerie.

The 841-page indictment prepared by Istanbul Counterterrorism and Organized Crime Prosecutor Can Tuncay was sent to the city's 29th High Criminal Court. It called for three aggravated life terms for 85 suspects charged with attempting to overthrow the constitutional order. Those facing the lesser sentences are charged with membership of an armed terrorist organization.

The first hearing is due to be held on Dec. 25 at a court in Istanbul's Silivri district.

The same court also accepted an indictment against 61 suspects accused of killing three people and injuring 49 others on Istanbul's Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge on the night of the coup bid.

Both of Istanbul's bridges across the Bosphorus were closed by pro-coup soldiers, who opened fire on people who came out to protest against the attempted takeover.

Prosecutors called for aggravated life terms for the 61 defendants on charges relating to the killings. The first hearing be held on Oct. 16 in Silivri.

According to the Turkish government, FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup.

Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

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