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LOCAL >Court rules for continuation of arrest of Doğan Group’s Muratoğlu

ISTANBUL

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An Istanbul court has ruled for the continuation of the arrest of Doğan Group Ankara Administrative Representative Barbaros Muratoğlu, who was arrested on Dec. 15, 2016 on charges of “helping an armed terrorist organization.”

The Istanbul Sixth Criminal Court of Peace has conducted the periodic investigation of Muratoğlu’s arrest and ruled for the continuation of it. 

The court had rejected to release him after his lawyers Köksal Bayraktar and Şehnaz Yüzer appealed the court’s decision. 

The letter of opinion sent by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was included in the ruling decision of the court.

The court said it decided to rule for the continuation of his arrest after examining all evidences and the quality and nature of charges against him. 

Bayraktar said the decision was “wrong.”

“The court’s ruling can be criticized strongly, because in this ruling the judge initially characterizes the crime in a different way and doesn’t mention any solid incident that would support it. What’s more interesting is that the court can clearly say that Barbaros Muratoğlu committed a crime. Arresting, as it is known, is a preventive measure. The reasons for such preventive measures are clearly stated in the law,” Bayraktar said. 

Saying that the court used “denunciatory and accusatory statements” against Muratoğlu without mentioning solid incidents, he added that the “aforementioned practice goes beyond protection measure.” 

Muratoğlu was arrested late on Dec. 15 over charges of “aiding the armed Fethullahist Terror Organization [FETÖ],” after being held in custody for 14 days.

Among the main reasons Muratoğlu was arrested and received accusation of aiding a terrorist organization was because he visited Fethullah Gülen, took a photograph with him, buttoned up two buttons on his jacket, which is considered a sign of respect, and made phone calls with lawyers and civil servants linked to the network.

He was also accused of contacting the two lawyers, who were later involved in the probes launched into the Gülen network. 

Linking Doğan Group to FETÖ is out of reason and conscience, said Ahter Kutadgu, Doğan Group’s deputy chairman responsible for corporate communications, in a statement in January. 

“We believe that our friends have not committed any acts against laws and regulations. We expect that justice will be manifested as soon as possible. Linking Doğan Group to FETÖ is out of reason and conscience,” he said.

February/16/2017

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