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3 consecutive life sentences sought for former İstanbul governor, police chief over Gülen links

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An İstanbul prosecutor has submitted an indictment seeking three consecutive life sentences for former İstanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and former Police Chief Hüseyin Çapkın over their links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup last summer.

According to the indictment submitted by İstanbul Public Prosecutor Emine Koçak to the İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court on Thursday, five suspects including Mutlu and Çapkın were charged with “violating the Constitution, membership in a terrorist organization and attempting to abolish the government of the Republic of Turkey and the Parliament through violence.”

Along with Çapkın and Mutlu, former Denizli Governor Abdulkadir Demir was also charged with the same crimes.

The prosecutor in addition demanded the arrest of Çapkın and Demir, who were released from custody on different dates following the coup attempt in July.

Çapkın, who served as İstanbul chief of police between 2009 and 2013, was detained in the western province of İzmir on Aug. 31, 2016 as part of an investigation launched by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office into the attempted coup. He was released in November.

Mutlu was arrested earlier in August 2016 for alleged involvement in the failed military coup attempt.

Mutlu and Çapkın were in their posts in İstanbul when a corruption investigation went public in the week of Dec. 17-25, 2013, implicating senior members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

The AKP government branded the corruption investigation a “coup attempt” by the Gülen movement, although the movement strongly denies any involvement, and arrested dozens of police officers who conducted the probe.

In his testimony Çapkın said he did not have prior information about the Dec. 17-25 corruption investigation, either.

He was removed from his post after the corruption investigation became public knowledge in late 2013.

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