The first trial related to Turkey's failed coup starts, with 29 police officers facing charges of disobeying orders on the night of July 15. Craig McCulloch reports.
Heavy security at a Turkish prison, as 29 police officers go before court Tuesday (December 27), accused of being part of a failed coup in July. It's the first trial of its kind in Istanbul since the botched attempt to overthrow the government. State media says the men are accused of disobeying orders and refusing to protect the presidential palace. Some 240 people died that night. This lawyer for some of the victims says the guilty must be sentenced to the heaviest punishment. "This is a betrayal against the country," he says. Prosecutors are reportedly seeking life sentences for 21 of the officers. The other eight face jail time of up to 15 years. After the coup, Turkey's government declared a state of emergency, launching a large-scale crackdown on opponents. Since then, more than 40,000 people have been arrested and more than 100,000 ousted from their jobs. The alleged ringleaders are due to go to trial, probably next year, in Ankara.