A court in eastern Turkey's Malatya handed down aggravated life imprisonment and life sentences to 16 people, including generals, in a July 15, 2016 coup attempt trial Friday.
The suspects were deployed at the Second Army Command in the city at the time of the putsch attempt that killed 250.
Infiltrators of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in the military is blamed for the attempt, eventually thwarted thanks to a strong public resistance.
The most high-profile defendant in the case was Second Army Commander Gen. Adem Huduti. Huduti, who claimed he was not aware of a coup attempt and tried to stop it when he "discovered" involvement of officers under his command, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aiding putschists. His aide Gen. Avni Angun was acquitted.
The court handed down aggravated life imprisonment for three brigadier generals who served under Huduti while lower-ranking officers were sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the coup attempt. The rest among 76 defendants were handed down lesser prison terms while 56 others were acquitted.
Huduti, who was detained at a military base in Malatya, said he was designated for the leadership of the coup attempt that is being blamed on FETÖ but refused it.
The general, who famously told his subordinates and accomplices in the coup, "Boys, you got me into trouble" as he was being escorted to prison after the foiled putsch bid, is accused of inaction against the coup.
It is not clear whether he played a part in masterminding the coup which was led by a junta, which called itself the "Peace At Home Council."
Coup plotters were instructed to stage the coup by FETÖ, whose infiltrators in the army moved to seize power by a series of takeovers of military bases and the abduction of anti-coup generals. Strong public resistance quelled the coup and thousands of military officers behind the putsch were arrested.
Prosecutors say in their indictment that Huduti's name was on the list of generals cooperating with the coup plotters. A confidential document found in possession of the coup plotters had Huduti's name as the post-coup commander of the Second Army, which oversees security in an area covering Turkey's Iraqi and Syrian borders.
"Huduti knew who the pro-coup officers were and it was illegal for the army to seize power. Despite these facts and having the opportunity to quell the coup attempt, he didn't act. Moreover, he repeatedly blocked the attempts for the capture and neutralization of pro-coup soldiers. Unlike other army commanders who openly declared that they were against the coup, the commanders who used their authority to stop the coup attempt, Huduti never used his authority," read a damning indictment against the general.
Compared to other cities, the coup attempt was less violent in Malatya and one civilian was injured when putschists opened fire on the anti-coup crowd gathered outside the military base. The governor and other local officials spearheaded efforts to prevent takeoffs of warplanes from the city's military airbase by placing bulldozers and trucks on the runway.
Elsewhere, civilian trucks were used to block the main road connecting two military bases in the city when tanks - operated by putschists - crushed security barriers set up by local administration to travel between two bases.
Malatya Governor Mustafa Toprak told the court in an earlier hearing that Gen. Adem Huduti tried to delay police intervention throughout the coup attempt but was forced to surrender when the police finally stormed the military base hours after the coup attempt began.
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