Court drops case over dead coup leaders

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 13.04.2019 00:09

A court in capital Ankara ruled for the dismissal of a public lawsuit against Kenan Evren and Tahsin Şahinkaya, two leaders of 1980 coup who died after they were sentenced to life in an earlier trial.

The 10th High Criminal Court obliged to the Court of Appeal ruling to drop the case due to deaths of former Chief of General Staff and 7th President Evren, and Air Forces Commander Şahinkaya. It also dismissed plaintiffs' complaints to seize two men's assets and dismissal of their military ranks that granted them full military honors during their funeral.

Evren and Şahinkaya were sentenced to aggravated life sentence in a 2014 trial but it was later commuted to life imprisonment. Their lawyers had appealed to the sentences and the case was referred to Court of Appeals. Evren died at the age of 98 while awaiting appeal and Şahinkaya died two months later at the age of 90. They were the first generals to be tried and convicted of leading a coup in Turkey, while the leaders of the 1960 coup dodged conviction as they passed away years before political changes paved the way for trials.

Lawyers representing the presidency, Parliament, a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and a number of surviving victims of the coup have sought the seizure of assets inherited by descendants of the top military brass behind the bloody coup.

A plaintiff had wanted the court to look into allegations that 170 tons of gold was stolen from the Turkish Central Bank following the coup. In the first hearing of the lawsuit in January, Mehmet Faruk Öztürk, the lawyer who represented the presidency, asked the court to seize assets "criminally obtained" by those involved in the coup and to remove the grave of coup leader Kenan Evren from the state cemetery.

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