37 life terms sought for Istanbul bridge coup accused


Turkish prosecutors have sought 37 sentences of aggravated life imprisonment each for 143 suspects on trial for incidents which took place on an Istanbul bridge during the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt.

The July 15 Martyrs Bridge, then called the Bosphorus Bridge, was closed during the defeated coup night by the soldiers.

Thirty-four people were martyred, including two police officers, judicial sources citing an indictment at Istanbul's 25th High Penal Court, said on Wednesday.

The indictment reads that the suspects, including 30 military officers and 47 military cadets, are accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and parliament or preventing them from carrying out their duties, as well as attempting to remove the constitutional order plus intentional killing.

Several terms of imprisonment were also sought for some of the suspects under charges of intentionally attempting to kill with weapons, damage property and deprivation of personal liberty.

The 1,052-page indictment said access from Istanbul's Asian side to the city's European side was cut by tanks driven by coup soldiers around 10.00 p.m. local time (1900GMT).

Security camera footage and photographs from that night also featured in Wednesday's indictment.

Incidents on the bridge in Istanbul were among the deadliest attacks carried out by pro-coup forces.

The deadly coup attempt, which left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 injured, was orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), led-by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, to overthrow the elected government of Turkey.

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

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