A court in Istanbul Wednesday handed down life imprisonment sentences to 15 former soldiers in the case examining the attempt to occupy the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) provincial headquarters in Istanbul during the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
The final hearing of the case held in Istanbul's Silivri Prison was attended by 12 arrested suspects, as well as three others through an interactive hearing system.
The suspects denied the charges brought against them, which range from "attempt to remove constitutional order through force and violence" to "attempt to remove the parliament" and "attempt to remove the government."
Two former officers leading the group, a major and a captain, were given aggravated life sentence by Istanbul's 23rd Heavy Penal Court, whereas a lieutenant and 11 noncommissioned officers were given life imprisonment sentences.
The cases of 60 privates that were inside the pro-coup unit were previously cleared by the court.
The deadly coup attempt, which was plotted and carried out by the Gülenist Terro Group (FETÖ) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen, left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Separately, 42 more people were convicted and sentenced to jail on Wednesday for being members of FETÖ, according to a security source.
The 2nd High Criminal Court in the northwestern Çanakkale province handed down life sentences to two former commanders, one of them responsible for the Çanakkale (Dardanelles) Strait, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
In the Black Sea province of Samsun, six people in three separate hearings received sentences of over six years apiece from the 3rd High Criminal Court for being members of a terrorist group.
A High Criminal Court in the central Kırşehir province handed down jail terms to 11 former police officers and two former teachers ranging from six to 15 years.
In the southern Kahramanmaraş province, one person was sentenced to over six years in prison.
A high criminal court in the Black Sea province of Kastamonu gave 15 former police officers jail terms ranging from six to seven years, while another person in the same trial received one year and six months.
Also in Kastamonu, three former court employees were handed jail terms of over six years in prison.
In the southern Hatay province, a person who confessed that she was using Bylock -- an app used by FETÖ members to communicate during and after the defeated coup attempt -- was convicted and given a term of over four years in prison.
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