Turkish court hands down life sentences in coup trial

Turkey’s state-run news agency says a court in Ankara has sentenced several people accused of being the ringleaders of the 2016 failed military coup to life terms in prison.

Anadolu Agency says those sentenced on Thursday include Akin Ozturk, a former air force commander and Ali Yazici, who was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s military aide. The sentences are still being handed down.

The suspects were on trial on charges of crimes against the state, leading an armed terror group, attempting to assassinate the president and the deaths of 249 people.

The trial is considered the main one among several underway in Turkey in relation to the coup attempt that the government says was carried out by followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The cleric denies involvement.

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