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MIT trucks case against Turkish officials dropped

MIT trucks case against Turkish officials dropped
Erdem Gul, Enis Berberoglu were accused of espionage, leaking state secrets to newspaper

By Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Kaya

ISTANBUL (AA) - A Turkish court on Wednesday dropped the 2014 National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks case against a journalist and an opposition party lawmaker.

Istanbul's 14th Heavy Penal Court acquitted Erdem Gul, who also won mayoral elections for Istanbul's Prince Islands, and Enis Berberoglu, a lawmaker of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

The court also revoked a travel ban on Berberoglu.

Gul and Can Dundar, the former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily, were convicted in May 2016 by an Istanbul court following the publication of images purporting to show arms being transported to Syria in trucks belonging to Turkey’s MIT.

The two defendants were arrested late November 2015 and held in prison until Feb. 26, 2016 when Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that their rights had been violated and ordered their release.

Last year, Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals overturned a previous ruling given by an Istanbul court on the case and ordered Gul's acquittal over lack of evidence.

Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking state secrets to a newspaper in June 2017. The sentence was later affirmed by an appeals court.

Berberoglu was found guilty of leaking footage to a journalist showing MIT trucks being stopped en route to Syria in January 2014.

In that incident, gendarmerie officers affiliated with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) stopped the MIT trucks on their way to Syria, despite government orders to let them pass.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated a defeated coup on July 15, 2016, leaving 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

source: News Feed
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