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Turkish court overrules journalists’ life sentences – Anadolu

Ahmet Altan

Turkey’s high court overruled life sentences against three journalists, who were sentenced over alleged links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

The Turkish court cleared journalist Ahmet Altan as well as Nazli Ilicak, both defendants in the same case, of charges related to violating the constitution, Anadolu reported.

However, the court maintained that Ahmet Altan and Ilicak aided the Gulen network, accused by Ankara of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt, the agency said.

The court also ruled to acquit journalist and brother Mehmet Altan from both charges including constitution violation and aiding the Gulen network, due to lack of sufficient and convincing evidence, Anadolu said.

A lower court will re-hear the cases against all three journalists following the higher court ruling.

The case drew criticism from rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies over a crackdown after a coup attempt and over erosion of judicial independence under President Tayyip Erdogan.

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