Court orders pre-trial release of journalist Hüsnü Mahalli
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court ordered the pre-trial release of journalist Hüsnü Mahalli on Jan. 20, a day after an indictment sought his imprisonment for up to seven years and five months for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a TV show.
The Istanbul 8th criminal court of first instance justified the demanded sentence and ordered Mahalli’s release, ruling that he would not try to escape.
Mahalli will stand trial on June 1.
Istanbul prosecutors had concluded an investigation into Mahalli, demanding his imprisonment for up to seven years and five months on charges that he insulted PresidentErdoğan.
Mahalli, 67, is charged with “insulting the president” and “insulting a public official due to his/her position” because of remarks given during a TV show aired on Dec. 2, 2016, on the Halk TV channel. He faces prison terms extending from two years and four months to seven years and five months.
Mahalli, an outspoken critic of Turkey’s Syria policy, was arrested on Dec. 15, 2016, on the insult charges.
Mahalli, who suffers from MS and must take medication regularly, was hospitalized on Dec. 21, 2016, with medical problems.
His daughter, Sevra Mahalli also confirmed on her Twitter account that her father’s health was worsening.