Turkish court denies coup case request

Feb. 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A former Turkish military chief accused of plotting a coup against the government will not be tried by the country's Supreme Court, a prosecutor said.

The question of which court should hear the case of retired Gen. Ilker Basbug has been highly debated in Turkey since his arrest last month on charges he tried to discredit Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, Today's Zaman reported Tuesday.

A defense attorney said the charges are related to Basbug's position, which would mean he could be tried by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Public Prosecutor's Office rejected the defense request, however, saying the charges are related to terrorism.

The indictment against Basbug accuses the retired general of "establishing or administering a terrorist organization" and "seeking to unseat the government of the Republic of Turkey by force," the Istanbul-based English-language newspaper reported.

The Turkish military is accused of creating Web sites to disseminate anti-government propaganda in an effort to overthrow Erdogan's Islamist government.

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