Turkish court releases soldier accused of leaking Reyhanlı bombing documents
SAMSUN - Doğan News Agency
Samsun High Criminal Court has released 26-year-old Utku Kalı. He still faces 18 years in prison. AA photoA Turkish gendarmerie officer, accused of leaking secret documents about the Reyhanlı bombing that killed 52 people in the southern province of Hatay in May, has been released by the court, after pleading not guilty at the second hearing of the trial.
The court decided to release 26-year-old Utku Kalı due to the amount of time already spent in prison, and because it was ruled unlikely that he would try to escape. He still faces an 18-year jail sentence demanded in the indictment.
Kalı requested his release from the Samsun High Criminal Court, saying he had given the secret documents to two civilians upon an order from his commander and against official report.
He also claimed that he was subjected to torture in prison and was not allowed to talk about this when he went to see the doctor. “It wasn’t like beating or water-based torture, but I was constantly being searched totally naked,” he said.
The indictment claimed that Kalı made photocopies of intelligence documents belonging to the Gendarmerie Intelligence Department, taking one copy more than was ordered and sending this extra copy to a newspaper journalist in Istanbul via his mobile phone.
Kalı was arrested on May 24 for the leak of the documents, which claimed that an opposition group in Syria, the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, had been planning a car bomb attack in Turkey.
The hacker group RedHack aired an intelligence document on the matter confirming al-Nusra’s involvement in the deadly attack in Reyhanlı. RedHack later announced via Twitter that the Kalı was not involved in the leak of the documents.
The Sivas Fifth Training Brigade Command Military Court took a decision of non-jurisdiction in Kalı’s trial on Aug. 15 and sent the case to Samsun High Criminal Court.