Retrial begins in Turkey of hundreds of military officers accused of 'Sledgehammer' coup plot

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The retrial of 236 military officers accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the government of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began Monday, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said, months after the country's highest court ruled that the suspects' right to a fair trial had been violated.

In 2012, a total of 326 officers were convicted of plotting to overthrow the country's Islamic-based government in 2003 in a plot dubbed "Sledgehammer," receiving sentences of up to 20 years imprisonment.

In June, Turkey's constitutional court ordered many of the officers released pending a retrial.

The original trial helped curtail the military's hold on Turkish politics, but the case was marred by the suspects' long pre-trial confinement and judicial flaws, including allegations of fabricated evidence.