Balyoz coup case appeals verdict to be given Oct 9

Balyoz coup case appeals verdict to be given Oct 9

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Balyoz coup case appeals verdict to be given Oct 9

Protesters, including the families of army officers, wave Turkish flags outside the Supreme Court of Appeals, where the Balyoz case is being held. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Having wrapped up the appeal trial of the Balyoz (Seldgehammer) coup plot case on the 17th day, Aug. 16, the 9th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals announced that it would release its ruling concerning the appeal process of the case Oct. 9.

Ninety-six attorneys representing 361 suspects completed giving final defenses to the court on Aug. 16 in the appeal case.

The lawful cause announced by Istanbul’s 10th Court for Serious Crimes Jan. 7 regarding its Sept. 21 ruling was sent to Office of the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals Feb. 27. The Office of the Chief Prosecutor finalized its review in around four months and sent its letter of notification to the 9th Criminal Chamber June 17.

Attorneys began presenting final defenses for their clients Aug. 15. Having decided to release their ruling Oct. 9, the court will have 54 days to review the file.

In its letter of notification, the Office of the Chief Prosecutor asked for approval of the convictions of 256 suspects, including former Air Force chief Halil İbrahim Fırtına, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Engin Alan, former Navy chief Özden Örnek, former 1st Army chief Çetin Doğan and other high-ranking retired generals.

The office asked for the annulment of the convictions of 67 suspects; approval of the conviction of two suspects after being corrected; approval of the acquittal of 35 suspects; and annulment of acquittal of one suspect.

Back in September, Fırtına, Örnek and Doğan were sentenced to life on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government by force,” but the terms were later reduced to 20 years because of the “incomplete attempt at staging a coup.”

Alan, also a retired general, was sentenced to 18 years in prison, as was retired Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, the former commander of the War Academies. Retired Col. Dursun Çiçek was sentenced to 16 years in prison while a total of 175 suspects were each sentenced to 13 years in prison. k HDN