Turkish army officers released: 200 'coup plot' officers to be retried

The Istanbul court ruled Thursday that the officers — who include former army, air force and navy chiefs — be released from prison.

Murad Sezer/Reuters/File
Lawyers and media members wait to enter a courthouse in Silivri, where a hearing on people charged with attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government took place, in August 2013. A Turkish court's decision Thursday resulted in the release of 200 officers convicted of 'coup plots.'

A Turkish court has ruled for a retrial for more than 200 military officers who were sentenced to up to 22 years in jail for allegedly plotting to topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government in 2003.

The Istanbul court ruled Thursday that the officers — who include former army, air force and navy chiefs — be released from prison.

The decision comes a day after Turkey's highest court said the officers' rights were violated during trial, which was marred by alleged judicial flaws, including allegations of fabricated evidence.

Erdogan had hailed their trial and others as an end of an era of military intervention in politics. His government has since distanced itself from the proceedings.

The officers were convicted in 2012. An appeals court confirmed the convictions in October.

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