Court releases Cumhuriyet journalist Kadri Gürsel, 4 others remain in jail

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Kadri Gursel embraces his wife after being freed from Silivri prison on September 26, 2017 in Istanbul, following a Turkish court order to free the columnist and editorial director of Turkey's opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet. An Istanbul court on Monday ordered the release of the leading journalist in the controversial trial of staff from the Cumhuriyet opposition newspaper, but ruled that four other detained suspects must stay in jail. / AFP PHOTO / YASIN AKGUL

An İstanbul court on Monday ruled for the release of Cumhuriyet daily journalist Kadri Gürsel and for the continuation of pretrial detention for four other journalists.

According to the Diken website, the İstanbul 27th High Criminal Court decided on the release of Gürsel, while four others — Ahmet Şık, Akın Atalay, Emre İper and Murat Sabuncu — were ordered to remain in jail, during a hearing on Monday as part of an investigation into the Cumhriyet newspaper.

The trial was adjourned until Oct. 31.

The charges brought against 17 Cumhuriyet employees in an April indictment accuse them of aiding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and the Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind a failed coup last year.

Earlier in July, the court released Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik, Turhan Günay and Mustafa Kemal Güngör and continued the pretrial detention of Akın Atalay, Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Ahmet Şık and Emre İper.

Arrest warrants for Cumhuriyet’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and US-based journalist İlhan Tanır are still outstanding.

The suspects were arrested by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace on Nov. 5, 2016. Atalay was detained at İstanbul Atatürk Airport upon his return from Germany and subsequently arrested on Nov. 12, 2016.

Cumhuriyet reporter Şık was also detained on Dec. 22 and arrested on Dec. 30, 2016 on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda.

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