World Bulletin / News Desk
A Turkish appeals court lifted arrest warrants for 102 suspects in Sledgehammer coup case.
The coup suspects were hot topic as a top military council discussed promotions of officers.
Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposed to the promotions during meeting, according to Turkish media. So none of them got promoted, except Gen. Saldiray Berk who became the commander of Land Forces Training and Doctrine Command (EDOK).
Gen. Berk was "named as the top suspect" in the Erzurum-Erzincan coup probe.
The 10th High Criminal Court ordered the re-arrest of 102 suspects, including two former force commanders in the investigation into the Sledgehammer Action Plan, a subversive plot allegedly prepared by a clique inside the military that included plans to crash Turkish jets and bomb large mosques at busy prayer hours to undermine the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) with the hope of eventually overthrowing it.
Later, lawyers of the suspects appealed the arrest warrants. The 10th High Criminal Court forwarded the petitions to the higher court, 11th High Criminal Court.
The 11th High Criminal Court court judges unanimously ruled for the lifting of the arrests.
The suspects include retired Gen. Cetin Doğan, retired force commanders Halil İbrahim Firtina and Ozden Ornek, retired Adm. Feyyaz Ogutcu and former Deputy Chief of General Staff Ergin Saygun.
The indictment in the Sledgehammer plan mentions 196 suspects and names retired Gen. Dogan, the former head of the 1st Army, as its prime suspect. Among other things, the indictment provides details of plans by coup instigators to cooperate with certain terrorist organizations to accomplish their ultimate goal, a coup.
Sledgehammer is a suspected coup plot created in 2003 at a military gathering with the intent of overthrowing the ruling AK Party government. According to the plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through violent acts, among which were planned bomb attacks on the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in İstanbul. The plot allegedly sought to undermine the government and to lay the groundwork for a military takeover.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2010, 13:13