Trial of suspected coup plotters delayed

Oct. 21, 2008 at 7:49 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The trial of 86 suspected coup plotters in Turkey was delayed for a while when demonstrators and journalists packed the courtroom, officials said.

Judges presiding over the trial in Silivri, near Instanbul, adjourned the hearing Monday for several hours after lawyers complained the crowded conditions hampered their work, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Once the trial resumed, it was adjourned until Thursday.

Prosecutors said the 86 defendants are members of a nationalist-secularist group called Ergenekon and accused them of plotting violent acts designed to provoke a military coup and unseat the Justice and Development party government, the British newspaper said.

Included in the 2,455-page indictment are charges that the group planned political assassinations and bombings, The New York Times reported. The charges include the killings of a judge, priest, journalist and three Christian publishing house employees; as well as the bombing of a newspaper. The group is also charged with plotting to kill public figures, including Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish novelist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006.

An investigation into the organization was opened in June 2007 after grenades were found in a house in Istanbul. Its scope has broadened to take in several military officials who were expected to be tried later, including two senior generals, a former first army commander and the former head of the paramilitary gendarmerie, the Guardian said.

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