Court orders release of Doğan Holding Ankara representative Barbaros Muratoğlu
Damla Güler - ISTANBULAn Istanbul court ordered the release of Doğan Holding’s Ankara Administrative representative Barbaros Muratoğlu on June 15 after 6.5 months, on the basis of the time he has served in prison.
During the hearing, the prosecutor had asked for him to be sentenced to a term between 7.5 and 15 years on charges of “aiding an armed terrorist organization.”
Having been held under detention for 14 days, Muratoğlu was arrested on Dec. 16, 2016, on charges of “aiding an armed terrorist organization” as part of an investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which is accused of perpetrating the July 2016 coup attempt.
Among the main reasons for the accusation of aiding a terrorist organization in the probe and his arrest were visiting U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, taking photographs with him, doing up two buttons on his jacket and making phone calls with lawyers and civil servants who were alleged to use a messaging application favored by Gülenists.
The Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court sentenced Muratoğlu to two years and one month in prison but ordered his release on the basis that he had served sufficient time in prison.
In his initial plea, Muratoğlu had pleaded not guilty, stating all meetings he held were for business purposes and that he did not have any links to FETÖ.
“The person who had been heard as a witness said I did not commit the crime. I am innocent and demand my release,” he had pleaded.
The court had rejected the demand for release of the representative many times before. His arrest had drawn reaction from the public as there was no concrete evidence shown in the indictment over his links to the organization.
Some media outlets had claimed that Muratoğlu used ByLock, an encrypted messaging application used by FETÖ members, but the accusations were ultimately proved to be false.