The Supreme Court of Appeals approved the convictions of 237 suspects in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup-plot case this morning, including former First Army Gen. Çetin Dogan, former Air Force Gen. Halil Ibrahim Firtina, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy and former general Engin Alan, former Navy Adm. Özden Örnek and other high-ranking retired generals.
The court approved the acquittal of 36 suspects, while quashing the convictions of 63 other suspects on the grounds that they had agreed to commit a crime but had not followed through and actually committed an infraction. The suspects will soon be released, although it was not immediately announced when and if they would face a retrial.
The court also ordered the release pending a retrial of 25 imprisoned suspects over problems with evidence.
The much-anticipated final verdict announced by the Ninth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals is seen as the precursor for other controversial coup cases into plots like Ergenekon and the Feb. 28 process.