Turkey: former Army chief released from prison after court ruling

March 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM
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ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 8 (UPI) -- Former Turkish army chief of staff Ilker Basbug has been released from prison following a court ruling, officials said.

Basbug was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last year on charges of being the leader of a terrorist organization aimed at toppling the Turkish government as part of the Ergenekon coup trial, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Saturday.

On Thursday, the 20th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul ruled that Basbug's rights had been violated when a lower court rejected an appeal he filed "without being effectively examined, and the detailed reasoning regarding his conviction was not issued."

Basbug was released from prison Friday.

"My release is just a start," Basbug said after leaving the Silivri prison facility. "I believe with all my heart that the other [convicted military officers], innocent just like me, will also regain their freedom in the shortest delay. If this does not happened, my release will not have no significance whatsoever."

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