Turkish courts hand down 889 life sentences in coup trials to date

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Defendants Kemal Batmaz (first row C) and Akin Ozturk (second row 2nd L) and other defendants arrive for their trial accompanied with gendarmerie commandos of Sincan Penal Institution at Ankara 4th Heavy Penal Court in Ankara, Turkey on August 01, 2017. Mustafa Kamaci / Anadolu Agency

Turkish courts have thus far handed down 889 life sentences in 137 cases involving a failed coup in 2016, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

A total of 285 cases were launched against coup suspects, Anadolu said, adding that 889 verdicts of life imprisonment were handed down in 137 of those cases.

Of the 889 rulings, 392 were aggravated life sentences, or life in prison without the possibility of parole

Meanwhile, 1,393 defendants were sentenced to varying jail terms.

Apart from coup trials, thousands of others have been convicted of membership in or leading a terrorist group after they were detained over alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 failed coup, although the movement denies any involvement.

More than 150,000 people have been taken into police custody, of whom 77,000 have been put in pretrial detention.

(Turkey Purge)

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