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Judges who released prime coup suspect expelled from profession

Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has expelled two judges from the profession who ruled for the release of Adil Öksüz, the prime suspect in a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, following his detention hours after the abortive putsch, Turkish media reports said on Thursday.

Judges Köksal Çelik and Çetin Sönmez had already been suspended from their posts and were standing trial on terrorism charges.

In August, Sönmez was handed down a jail sentence of eight years, nine months on charges of terrorism.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Öksüz is accused of heading of the Gülen movement’s alleged network within the air force. He was briefly detained after the coup attempt and is still at large.

The HSK also disbarred public prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya in 2006 for indicting former army chief Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt as part of an investigation into a bookstore bombing in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district in 2005. He was reinstated to his post in 2011.

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