Court rejects release demand of Doğan Group’s Muratoğlu

Court rejects release demand of Doğan Group’s Muratoğlu

Court rejects release demand of Doğan Group’s Muratoğlu The Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court has rejected the release demand of Doğan Group Ankara Administrative Representative Barbaros Muratoğlu, who has been under arrest on charges of “aiding an armed terrorist organization” as a part of an investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). 

For the first time since his arrest four months ago, Muratoğlu appeared in court, where the prosecutor demanded his release. The court, however, rejected the demand, citing the possibility of putting pressure on witness Ramazan Aykış, who also has been under arrest. 

Lawyers Ahmet Ziyayettin Çörtoğlu, Ahmet Köksal Bayraktar and Şehnaz Yüzer participated in the hearing on March 21.

Muratoğlu said the whole process started with a news report that was “absolutely knitted with lies,” adding that the process was ongoing. 

“The process, which started with a news report that is completely knitted with lies, was continued with other similar lies. It is still continuing. The latest lie was published on daily Akşam once again, and again by Murat Kelkitlioğlu on March 3,” Muratoğlu told the court in his defense, adding that Doğan Group Honorary Chairman Aydın Doğan was addressed in the headline of the news report. 

“The report claimed that I bought a house in Kosovo with a FETÖ-affiliated Supreme Court judge. The only true part of the story is that I bought a house in Kosovo. However, Serkan Aydın, who is referred to as a FETÖ judge in the report and who has a house in the same housing estate, is a businessman from Ankara. He has been my friend for many years. My origins are Kosovan. I’m a first generation Kosovan in Turkey. My deceased mother was born in Pristina and my deceased father was born in Prizren. My relatives are still living in a village close to Prizren,” he added.

Muratoğlu said he wanted to spend a few months a year in Kosovo after his retirement.  

“So, it’s impossible for me to be in an organization like the one mentioned in Murat Kelkitlioğlu’s fabricated news reports. The necessary answers were given by our media group in response to these lies,” he said. 

After Muratoğlu’s defense, prosecutor Ömer Karakaya demanded his release, however the court rejected the demand, citing “the quality and nature of the charges against Muratoğlu, the current evidence situation, reports, strong crime suspicion, the fact that the witness statements weren’t taken during the prosecution process and the existence of the possibility of putting pressure on the witness and spoiling evidence.” 

In addition, the court ruled for a warrant to be issued to bring Aykış to court, taking his arrest into account. 

The hearing was adjourned to April 18.