Former Turkish military chief's release ordered
Friday, March 07, 2014
ISTANBUL - An Istanbul court ordered Friday the release of a former Turkish chief of staff who was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to overthrow the government.
Istanbul`s 20th High Criminal Court unanimously ruled for the release of Ilker Basbug on the grounds that all evidence had been gathered and the imprisonment had served its purpose. Basbug`s social status and time served in prison were also considered.
The court also banned Basbug from going abroad.
On August 5, the same court had sentenced the retired general to life in prison at the end of the six-year Ergenekon trial, in which 275 suspects - including retired military commanders, former police chiefs, journalists and businessmen - were accused of plotting to depose the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party government by preparing the way for a military coup.
On Thursday, Basbug`s attorney filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court regarding the "trial of Basbug in a local court and his ongoing imprisonment."
The Constitutional Court ruled that Basbug`s imprisonment constitutes a violation of his legal rights.
The Court said Basbug could not appeal to the highest appeal court, as the local court failed to complete the legal procedure.
Basbug was arrested on January 6, 2012 and spent two years and two months in prison.
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