Court in Turkey sentences 40 to life for assassination attempt on President Erdogan in failed coup

- Court in Turkey sentences 40 to life for assassination attempt on President Erdogan in failed coup.

- Including senior military officials.

- Lawyer praises the verdict and claims that it depicts Turkey's willingness to abide by the rule of law.
A Court in Turkey has sentenced 40 people to life in prison for plotting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
following the failed coup attempt last year.

Thirty-one defendants, including senior military officers, were each given four life sentences at Wednesday's trial in the southwestern city of Mugla, the private Dogan news agency reported.

They include Gokhan Sahin Sonmezates, a former brigadier general who was accused of directing the plot. Former elite commando Zekeriya Kuzu, who was famously found hiding in a cave four days after the failed coup, also received a life term.

A further nine defendants each received a single life sentence, Dogan added.

President Erdogan has also stated that the assassination plot left him minutes from death after he fled the hotel and went back to Istanbul by plane.

"If I had stayed 10 or 15 additional minutes there, I would have been killed, or I would have been taken," Erdogan told CNN in an interview just days after the coup.

One of the lawyers representing the prime ministry, Halit Cokan, said the verdict stemmed from an "open trial" and demonstrated "Turkey was a state with the rule of law".

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