ANKARA: Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul has given a go ahead to legal proceedings against four U.S. Embassy shooting suspects on the charges of carrying out a hostile act against a foreign state.
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office in capital Ankara had sent a request for starting legal proceedings, according to information gathered by Anadolu Agency.
The summary of proceedings was based on article 306 of the Penal Code, which requires permission from the justice minister.
The suspects Ahmet Celikten, Osman Gundas, Ersin Bayram and T.B.K. were involved in the drive-by shooting on Aug. 20 in capital Ankara.
Investigations reveal the suspects Gundas and Bayram had communicated with Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) through cellphones.
The anti-terror branch of Ankara’s Security Directorate found that Gundas shared videos of Fetullah Gulen, the ringleader of the terror group behind the July 15, 2016 defeated coup.
It also found out that Bayram downloaded smartphone applications linked to the terrorist organization.
According to the Ankara Governor's Office, Celikten and Gundas confessed to their involvement in the attack.
Footage from city surveillance cameras show that Celikten and Gundas scouted the area outside the embassy building 20 minutes before the attack.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary