Doğan Holding Ankara representative Barbaros Muratoğlu released from prison

Doğan Holding Ankara representative Barbaros Muratoğlu released from prison

Doğan Holding Ankara representative Barbaros Muratoğlu released from prison Barbaros Muratoğlu, Doğan Holding’s Ankara Administrative representative, was released from Istanbul’s Silivri prison late on June 15, 196 days after he was arrested on terror charges as a part of an investigation into the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which is accused of perpetrating the July 2016 failed coup attempt.

During the final hearing on June 15, the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court initially sentenced Muratoğlu to five years in prison on charges of “aiding an armed terror organization” in lower limit but abated it down to one year and eight months. 

“The person who had been heard as a witness said I did not commit the crime. I am innocent and demand my release,” Muratoğlu had pleaded.

The court board later increased the sentence to 2.5 years in prison on the grounds that “the crime was committed within the activities of the terror organization.” He was sentenced to two years and one month in prison over good conduct but the court ordered his release regarding the time he spent in prison.

Muratoğlu was released from prison at around 9 p.m., with his relatives greeting him outside.

“Seven months have passed until now since I was detained, and it has been a very long time. It is so hard to be in prison. God willing, my other friends who are innocent can feel that joy with me and they will be released,” Muratoğlu told reporters in his first comments after the release.

His wife Sultan Muratoğlu also expressed her joy after her husband’s release.

“I am so happy and I cannot say anything. I thank all our friends and everyone who has been with us during this process,” she said.

Köksal Bayraktar, the lawyer of Muratoğlu, meanwhile stated that his client’s release was important, saying that it revealed humanism and humanity despite all negative aspects of the judicial process in the country.

The court had rejected the demand for release of Muratoğlu 11 times, violating an ECHR decision against Turkey over the time of continuation of arrest.

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 FETÖ. 

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.