İstanbul court accepts third indictment in Sledgehammer coup plot case

November 23, 2011, Wednesday/ 11:37:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A third indictment prepared as part of an ongoing probe into a suspected military coup plan dubbed “Sledgehammer” was accepted by the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court on Wednesday.

The indictment, which mentions 143 suspects, 64 of whom are currently under arrest, was forwarded to the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court on Nov. 11 and the court announced on Wednesday that the indictment was accepted.

Sledgehammer is a suspected coup plan devised at a military gathering in 2003 that allegedly sought to undermine the government in order to lay the groundwork for a military takeover. According to the plan, the military intended to systematically cause chaos in society through violent events that would lead to a military takeover. Among the planned incidents were bombings of the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in İstanbul and crashing a Turkish jet after a dogfight with Greek jets.

Prosecutor Hüseyin Ayar accuses suspects in the indictment of a failed attempt to destroy Parliament and overthrow the government. Such a charge calls for a jail sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Among the suspects are HAVELSAN General Director Ömer Faruk Yarman and Lt. Gen. Korcan Pulatsü, head of the Eskişehir 1st Air Forces Command.

The first hearing in the case will be held on Dec. 26. The 10th İstanbul High Criminal Court has recently decided to merge the second Sledgehammer investigation with the first probe to ease the process and avoid contradictory rulings. The court is expected to merge the most recent case with the main trial as well.

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