Damla Güler - ISTANBUL
An Istanbul court on June 14 set Oğuz Güven, the chief online editor of daily Cumhuriyet, free, a month after his arrest on charges of “engaging in terror organization propaganda.”
Güven was released “taking into account the nature of the offense charged, the approach of the defendant to the process of the events as well as the investigation, the anticipated penalty, the time spent in jail, the lack of suspicion of flight, as well as his work and residence situation,” the Istanbul 28th Court of Serious Crime said in its decision.
The court on June 14 also accepted an indictment prepared by the prosecutor’s office, which has sought up to 10.5 years in jail for Güven.
The next hearing in the case will be on Sept. 14.
On May 15, the court ordered the arrest of Güven over a tweet shared on Cumhuriyet’s Twitter account regarding the death of a chief public prosecutor.
The Twitter message had reported the death of Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper after he was killed in a car accident in the Merkezefendi district of the southwestern province of Denizli.
In his testimony, Güven reportedly said he did not tweet the report himself, adding that it was “shared completely by mistake” in a bid to break the news urgently.
He also noted that the tweet in question was deleted 55 seconds after it was shared on Cumhuriyet’s official Twitter account.
“That is an indication of the fact that the tweet was posted by mistake,” Güven reportedly testified, denying any “bad intent” behind the post.
Alper, 48, and his driver, Muzaffer Akşehirli, were killed on May 10 when a truck laden with debris crashed into their car on a highway.
He was the first chief public prosecutor to launch an investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after the failed July 15, 2016, coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.