Court releases man who attacked journalist Can Dündar

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An İstanbul court on Friday decided to release, pending trial, Murat Şahin, who was arrested for attacking Turkish journalist Can Dündar with a gun in May, the state-run Anadolu news agency has reported.

Şahin approached Dündar as he was speaking to reporters during a break in a hearing on May 6 outside İstanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse, firing two shots at the journalist’s legs while shouting, “You are a traitor.”

The shots failed to hit Dündar, but one bullet did strike the leg of Yağız Şenkal, a reporter for NTV.

Şahin was subsequently detained, facing a jail sentence of between 30 and 47 years.

Following the attack, Dündar, then the editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, were convicted by an İstanbul court and sentenced to five years, 10 months and five years in prison, respectively.

The journalists were on trial for “leaking state secrets” due to stories published about Turkish intelligence trucks carrying hidden weapons bound for Syria in early 2014. They were arrested on Nov. 26, 2015, and released on Feb. 26 following a Constitutional Court decision.

The 14th High Criminal Court acquitted Dündar and Gül of charges of attempting to overthrow the government, while ordering that the charges of “knowingly and willfully helping a terrorist organization” be separated from the trial.

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