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Turkish court orders release of 230 military officers accused in 2003 coup attempt

230 military officers convicted in 2012 of plotting to overthrow the government in 2003 were ordered released by a Turkish court on Wednesday.
By JC Finley   |   June 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM   |   Comments

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ANKARA, Turkey, June 19 (UPI) -- A Turkish court has order 230 military officers accused of a 2003 coup attempt be released from prison.

The officers were convicted in 2012 of attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government by launching a "Sledgehammer plot" intended to foster unrest in Turkey by bombing mosques and triggering war with Greece.

The accused officers allegedly presented the "Sledgehammer" plan at a 2003 army seminar, but the defendants insisted it was a theoretical scenario intended to help the military prepare for potential unrest.

The 230 officers were ordered released on Wednesday after the court found their original trial had been flawed. They may face retrial.

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