8 given aggravated life sentences for occupying governor’s office on coup night

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Eight out of 90 members of the military who stood trial on charges of violating the constitution through involvement in a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 have been given aggravated life sentences, the T24 news website reported on Thursday.

The soldiers were accused of occupying the İstanbul Governor’s Office on the night of the coup.

The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court also ruled to acquit 80 defendants due to a lack of demonstrable intent, while the remaining two defendants’ cases were left out, indicating another hearing would be held for them.

Among the 90 soldiers, 14 were high-ranking officers.

The military coup attempt claimed the lives of 249 people, while a thousand others were injured when a group within the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government. The coup attempt was suppressed in around six hours.

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

Last month the state-run Anadolu news agency reported that a total of 285 cases were launched against coup suspects and that 889 verdicts of life imprisonment had been handed down in 137 of those cases up until then.

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.

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