Lengthy jail sentence given to judge who released prime coup suspect

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A former Turkish judge who ruled for the release of Adil Öksüz, a prime suspect in a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 following his detention hours after the abortive putsch, has been handed down a jail sentence of eight years, nine months on terror charges.

The trial of former judge Çetin Sönmez was concluded at the Ankara 21st High Criminal Court on Wednesday. He faced 15 years in prison on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Öksüz is accused of heading of the Gülen movement’s alleged network within the air force. He was briefly detained after the coup attempt and is still at large.

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