Turkey court orders release of 230 military 'plotters'

Wives and relatives of retired and active military officers charged in the so-called Sledgehammer trial protest at Anitkabir in Ankara on February 19, 2011Magistrates in Istanbul on Thursday ordered the release of 230 military officers sentenced for plotting to overthrow the government, a day after Turkey’s top court said the original trial was flawed. The Istanbul court ruled that the sentences of between 13 and 20 years should be suspended until the officers can face a retrial, local media reported. The first of the officers were already walking free from prison by Thursday afternoon in Ankara and Istanbul, welcomed by dozens of family and supporters. Among those released on Thursday was the alleged mastermind of the conspiracy, former general Cetin Dogan, as well as former chiefs of staff of the navy and air force.

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