Turkish court acquits hundreds of suspects in establishing terror group - media
A Turkish court acquitted 235 suspects of charges of establishing the so-called Ergenekon terror group, while it handed life sentences to four suspects for violating the constitutional order.
Once again examining the case, Istanbul's 4th High Criminal Court acquitted 235 suspects of management, membership, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization on the basis that the Ergenekon organization was not a real group.
At the same time, four detainees — Alparslan Arslan, Erhan Timuroğlu, Ismail Sağır and Osman Yıldırım — were sentenced to life terms in prison upon evaluation of their conviction of violating the constitutional order, which carries the heaviest sentence in Turkish law and refers to acts of terrorism or coup, Daily Sabah reported.
The probe into the alleged Ergenekon group's activity kicked off in 2007 when weapons were found in a private house in Istanbul. Later, prosecutors announced that the weapons belonged to some secret terrorist group called Ergenekon which was allegedly seeking to overthrow Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
The investigation led in 2013 to several trials and a spate of grave verdicts against military officers, academics, journalists, writers and politicians. Those defendants were released in 2014, cited a lack of evidence.