Coup leaders stand trial in Turkey

Published April 4, 2012 6:54AM (EDT)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The two surviving leaders of Turkey's 1980 military coup, including a former president, are going on trial charged with crimes against the state.

The trial of retired Gen. Kenan Evren, who as military chief of staff led the coup and then led the country from 1982 to 1989, and retired Gen. Tahsin Sahinkaya, chief of the air force at the time, comes as the government is curtailing the military's clout.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse in Ankara on Wednesday ahead of the opening hearing.

The two, both in poor health, have been hospitalized and are not expected to attend. They have been charged with crimes against the state and face possible life imprisonment for leading the coup.

Hundreds of people, including many active and retired officers, separately stand trial in more recent alleged coup plots.

By Salon Staff

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