CHP deputy Berberoğlu released after 15-month incarceration on espionage charges

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Former journalist turned CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoglu (C), looks on during his stepfather's funeral ceremony, on June 23, 2017 in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Enis Berberoğlu was released on Thursday after 15 months of imprisonment on espionage charges, the T24 news website reported.

The 16th Chamber of Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a local court’s ruling of five years, 10 months in prison for Berberoğlu, who was convicted of revealing state secrets.

The chamber suspended execution of the sentence until the end of his term in parliament and ruled for his release.

The CHP deputy was arrested in June 2017 for supporting a terrorist group and charged with espionage for being the source of Cumhuriyet daily reports on Turkish national intelligence service’s trucks carrying weapons to Syria.

Following the publication of the report, Cumhuriyet’s then-editor-in-chief Can Dündar and then-Ankara representative Erdem Gül were arrested.

Although Dündar and Gül were released pending trial in February 2016, in the course of the investigation the prosecutor discovered that the source of the reports was CHP deputy Berberoğlu.

His lawyers previously applied to the Supreme Court of Appeals for his release due to his re-election in the general election of June 24; however, the 16th and 17th Chambers rejected the application.

The arrest of Berberoğlu, the former editor-in-chief of the Hürriyet daily, led CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to start a “Justice March” from Ankara to İstanbul, where the prison Berberoğlu was incarcerated is located.

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