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Jailed US consulate employee indicted on espionage charges

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A Turkish court on Friday accepted an indictment for Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee of the US Consulate General in İstanbul who was arrested and jailed in 2017 on espionage charges.

The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court scheduled a hearing on March 26 for Topuz, who is accused of having links to Gülen movement-affiliated police officers dismissed after corruption investigations in December 2013.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and ministers Ali Babacan, Muammer Güler, Zafer Çağlayan and Bekir Bozdağ are listed as complainants in the indictment.

The indictment demands a sentence of between 18 and 29 years. The 78-page document claims that the US consulate employee had sufficient contacts with police officers who conducted the corruption operations to be considered suspicious.

Some witness testimony in the indictment also allege a connection between Topuz and Adil Öksüz, one of the prime suspects of a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

Last year, Turkish police broke the password of Topuz’s phone, finding messages about media reports on the arrest of Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab in the US.

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