Turkish court acquits remaining military officers over alleged coup plot
ISTANBUL - Reuters
DHA PhotoA Turkish court on April 7 acquitted the last 62 military officers jailed over an alleged 2003 plot to oust then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after the judge ruled some of the digital evidence as inadmissible, a defence lawyer said.
In 2012, a court sentenced the officers to jail over the alleged conspiracy dating back to 2003, a year after ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power. Erdoğan is now president.
Last week an Istanbul court acquitted 236 other officers in connection with the alleged plot. Both trials were launched after the constitutional court ordered a retrial a year ago.
The defence lawyer told Reuters the digital evidence was rendered useless by major time-based inconsistencies.
They included a typeface used in documents allegedly dating to 2003 which did not become available in Microsoft Windows until 2007. In addition, a pharmaceuticals company was mentioned in similar documents by a name it did not go by until 2008.
The alleged plot, named Balyoz "Sledgehammer" after a wargames scenario the army was studying at the time, was said to include plans to bomb mosques and trigger a conflict with Greece by shooting down one of Turkey's own warplanes, paving the way for a military takeover.