World Bulletin / News Desk
The Sledgehammer case, in which three former generals were sentenced to 20 years in prison on coup charges in September, was sent to the Supreme Court of Appeals on Wednesday for a final verdict.
The İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court has been hearing the case, and delivered its final verdict on Sept. 21. last year. After an appeal by the defense, the Supreme Court of Appeals will now review the decision.
Former 1st Army Commander retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, former Air Forces Commander Gen. Halil İbrahim Fırtına and former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek were initially given life imprisonment but the court said the three would only serve 20-year prison sentences because they were unsuccessful in their bid to topple the government. The court acquitted 34 officers in the case, which has furthered civilian dominance over the once all-powerful military in Turkey.
The first time the Sledgehammer plot was publicly discussed was on Jan. 20, 2010, when the Taraf daily claimed that a group of generals had conspired to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, devising a plot titled the Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan. The daily claimed that among the plans of the generals were bombing the Fatih Mosque, one of İstanbul's biggest, during a busy Friday prayer and other atrocities to shake public confidence in the government. The plot was devised in 2003, according to the paper. The next day, the İstanbul Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the claims.
Retired Gen. Engin Alan, War Academies Commander Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, retired Gen. Ergin Saygun, former National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Şükrü Sarıışık, retired Gen. Nejat Bek, retired Adm. Ahmet Feyyaz Öğütçü and retired Gen. Süha Tanyeri were also each sentenced to 18 years in prison. The court issued 16-year jail sentences for 214 suspects, including the retired Col. Dursun Çiçek and retired military judge Ahmet Zeki Üçok, in the historic trial.Last Mod: 27 Şubat 2013, 17:46