Trial of former Turkish soldiers accused of coup attempt resumes in absentia

Two of the eight former Turkish soldiers, who fled to Greece and requested political asylum after a failed military coup in Turkey, are escorted by police officers as they arrive at the appeals court in Athens, Greece. March 16, 2018. (Reuters)

Eight former soldiers accused of taking part in Turkey’s failed 2016 coup are being tried in absentia, as they are currently seeking asylum in Greece.

The trial of eight former Turkish soldiers accused of taking part in the failed 2016 coup resumed on Tuesday in Istanbul.

Turkey says it will present fresh evidence that proves the group tried to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, during what was expected to be four days of legal proceedings.

The men are being tried in absentia, as they’re currently seeking asylum in Greece – a move that has caused relations between the two neighbours to deteriorate.

The Athens-based Court of Appeal rejected Ankara’s extradition requests, filed on the basis of the charges the former soldiers face in Turkey.

Those charges included involvement in the coup, attempted murder, participation in an armed terrorist group, military desertion and theft of military material.

The eight are also accused of being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), the network of US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, who orchestrated the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Melinda Nucifora reports.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies