Nine defendants accused of attempting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during last year's coup bid were removed from the courtroom on Friday after a judge said they were causing "disorder."
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the defendants are trying to prolong the trial where prosecutors are seeking life sentences. The defendants were among 44 putschists dispatched to President Erdoğan's hotel in the southwestern city of Muğla in an assassination attempt and were later captured after a manhunt in the city's countryside.
The nine men, all military officers, claimed they were "tortured" by the gendarmerie troops escorting them to the courtroom but images captured by journalists show they refused to leave the prison van that brought them to the court and engaged in a scuffle with their escorts.
Hüseyin Aydın, a lawyer representing Erdoğan, told reporters that the defendants were seeking to prolong the trial as a hearing on their final verdict nears.
"They are trying to raise tension in the courtroom," he said, referring to the verbal arguments between defendants and plaintiffs during the trial.
"This is a deliberate act. They are trying to portray themselves as victims," he said.
One defendant was removed from the courtroom during Thursday's hearing for wearing a T-shirt that read "Hero" to the chagrin of families of the coup victims attending the trial.
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