Turkish court ends trial of 357 espionage suspects

Turkish court ends trial of 357 people charged with illegally keeping military information and documents

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

People celebrated the court's decision with their families in Izmir on Feb. 26, 2016.

A Turkish court has ended the prosecution of almost 360 people accused of "keeping military information and documents of a confidential nature."

The court in Izmir, western Turkey, said legal proceedings against 357 suspects have now ended.

However, the court also decided that a summary of proceedings be prepared and a criminal complaint filed against the original prosecutors.

The original indictment against the 357 suspects had called for jail sentences ranging from two years to life in prison.

Officials who assumed responsibilities during the initial probe are suspected of exceeding their authority on the basis of allegedly being linked to the FETO/PDY terrorist group trying to overthrow the government.

The "parallel state," also called the Gulenist Terror Organization or FETO/PDY by the government, designates a clandestine group of bureaucrats and senior officials - allegedly embedded in the country’s institutions - including the judiciary and the police.

Since early 2014, investigations into the parallel state have seen hundreds of civil servants, including police and public prosecutors, arrested or reassigned.

An arrest warrant has been issued in absentia for Fetullah Gulen, for "attempting to stage a coup, establishing and masterminding an armed organization and political espionage" in Turkey.

An upcoming hearing will be held in April 2016.

TRTWorld, AA