Three journalists released in ‘espionage’ case

Three journalists released in ‘espionage’ case

Three journalists released in ‘espionage’ case

An Istanbul court ruled on June 24 for the release of three journalists imprisoned over a report on the funeral of a Turkish intelligence officer killed in war-torn Libya.

Oda TV news site editor-in-chief Barış Pehlivan, news manager Barış Terkoğlu and reporter Hülya Kılınç, Yeni Yaşam newspaper editor-in-chief Ferhat Çelik and managing editor Aydın Keser, and Yeniçağ newspaper columnist Murat Ağırel were at the courtroom after a pre-trial detention for more than three months.

They were accused of violating state intelligence laws.

Only six people among the relatives of the defendants were let in the courtroom due to coronavirus measures, while many others, including journalists, were left outside.

Deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), journalists, heads of NGOs and members of press unions were present at the court for trial.

The court ordered the release of Terkoğlu, Çelik and Keser on condition of judicial control at the first hearing of the trial, while the others accused of violating state intelligence laws will continue to stay behind bars.

Terkoğlu was previously arrested in 2011, alongside many other Oda TV employees, as part of the Ergenekon investigations, legal cases pushed by FETÖ members within Turkey’s judiciary.

The next hearing will be held on Sept. 9 at the Istanbul 34th Heavy Penal Court at Çağlayan Courthouse.

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