Turkish court orders release of Austrian student

Turkish court orders release of Austrian student

ANKARA
Turkish court orders release of Austrian student

A court in the Turkish capital Ankara ordered the release of an Austrian student, activist and journalist who had been arrested on terrorism charges three months ago, but he will have to remain in the country to await judicial proceedings, his lawyer said on Dec. 24.

Two others, both Turkish citizens, were also released in the same case.

Max Zirngast, a postgraduate student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in the political sciences department, had been taken into custody in September, prompting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to demand an explanation from Ankara for why he had been detained.

He is accused of being a member of a leftist terrorist organization, as a result of a number of articles he wrote about Turkey and for demonstrations he took part in while in Turkey, his lawyer Murat Yılmaz told Reuters on Dec. 24.

“Normally, he would not be released before the first trial but today the court set the trial date for April 11 and released him,” Yılmaz said, calling the charges without merit.

The court has barred him from leaving the country, the lawyer added.

Zirngast, a regular contributor of the online publication Re:volt, has been living in Turkey for three years.

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Max Zirngast, Ankara, released