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ECtHR rejects 2010 application of Sledgehammer defendants

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Thursday found an application made in 2010 by retired general Çetin Doğan and the late retired general Cem Aziz Çakmak, defendants in a trial concerning a coup plot in Turkey called Sledgehammer, inadmissible.

According to a report on Euronews, the European court rejected the application because the applicants also submitted a similar petition to another international body, the UN Human Rights Committee, over their pre-trial detention.

Doğan was incarcerated for nearly two years in Silivri Prison, while Çakmak was held for 18 months.

The Sledgehammer coup plot included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, an assault on a military museum by people disguised as religious extremists and the raising of tensions with Greece through an attack on a Turkish plane and blaming the incident on Turkey’s Aegean neighbor.

An İstanbul court sentenced 331 of the 365 Sledgehammer suspects to prison on Sept. 21, 2012, while 34 were acquitted. Three retired generals were sentenced to life in prison on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government by force,” but the sentences were later reduced to 20 years because of the “incomplete attempt at staging a coup,” the court said.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court handed down a ruling in June 2014 stating that the rights of a majority of the convicted defendants in the Sledgehammer coup plot case were violated concerning “digital data and the defendants’ testimonies.”

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