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Turkish Cypriot social media journalist bailed

turkish cypriot social media journalist serdinc maypa
Turkish Cypriot social media journalist Serdinc Maypa

Turkish Cypriot social media journalist Serdinc Maypa was released on bail on Monday, after having been charged with violating individuals’ right to privacy.

Maypa had been arrested on Thursday and remanded in custody for three days on Friday, and the police on Monday requested that his remand be extended for a further four days so any of his potential accomplices in the alleged illegal obtaining of documents could be investigated.

However, Maypa’s lawyer objected to the request, saying the case had been brought against his client to “intimidate” him.

The police insisted there was a chance he could tamper with evidence and interfere with witnesses, but the judge disagreed.

As a result, he was released on a 35,000TL (€1,016) bail, on the condition that he present himself to his local police station once a week, and that two Turkish Cypriots sign guarantees worth 500,000TL (€14,511).

The police said a total of 11 statements had been taken, and that they wished to speak to 13 more people.

In addition, they said, records on his mobile phone and computer showed 2,586 relevant messages and 28,273 photographs and documents, some of which were ‘government’ documents.

They added that they had requested that Maypa’s mobile carrier disclosed the names of the people he had spoken with, with the carrier yet to respond to that request.

They also said an investigation will be launched into the 1,000-page document containing data of people who had caught Covid-19 which was found at Maypa’s house.

The north’s ‘health ministry’ is expected to file a complaint about Maypa’s possession of the document, with investigations set to centre on the possibility of information being leaked from the Dr Burhan Nalbantoglu hospital in northern Nicosia.

Asked in court on Friday how he had come into possession of the documents, Maypa had said “storks brought them”.

The number of complaints filed against Maypa has now risen to 13, with eight Bangladeshi nationals having accused him of violating their privacy since Friday,

Initially, complaints had been filed by officials from the north’s electricity authority Kib-Tek, the Cyprus Turkish building contractors’ association, the Development Bank, and two separate insurance companies.

Maypa himself has also made allegations regarding the institutions which filed complaints against him, with the north’s police set to investigate the claims he has made.

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