Turkish court formally arrests 9 police officers in coup probe

The latest arrests brought to 16 the number of security force members remanded in custody after a nationwide police operation.

Turkish court formally arrests 9 police officers in coup probe

A Turkish court formally arrested nine police officers on suspicion of membership of a group allegedly plotting to overthrow the government, state-run Anatolian news agency said on Sunday.

A new wave of detentions this month in the long-running investigation has further strained relations between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government and the secular establishment, including the military and judiciary.

The latest arrests brought to 16 the number of security force members remanded in custody after a nationwide police operation on Thursday. The court formally arrested seven army personnel earlier in the weekend, including three lieutenants.

Eighty-six people, including retired senior officers, are on trial over suspected links to a group known as "Ergenekon", accused of plotting to overthrow the AK Party government.

One of the arrested police officers was the head of the special forces squad in the eastern province of Elazig.

The Turkish military, which has unseated governments four times in the past 50 years, has criticised the investigation and denied any links to an alleged plot to conduct bombings and assassinations to clear the way for a coup.

Reuters

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2009, 11:27
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