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Former CHP deputy given 4-year jail sentence on terrorism charges

A picture taken on November 17, 2015 shows former Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Eren Erdem as he makes a speech at the Turkish parliament in Ankara. An Istanbul court ordered Eren Erdem, a former MP for Istanbul from the Republican People's Party (CHP), be charged for "deliberately and willingly helping an armed terror group, without being a member", Anadolu news agency reported. Erdem will now remain in jail ahead of trial. He risks between nine-and-a-half and 22 years in jail if convicted. / AFP PHOTO / CUMHURIYET DAILY NEWSPAPER / Necati Savas

Eren Erdem, a former deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has been handed down a jail sentence of four years, two months on charges of aiding an armed terrorist group although not having membership in that organization, Turkish media reports said on Friday.

Erdem was first arrested in June 2018, just five days after he failed to secure a seat in the legislature in the parliamentary elections.

His trial was held at the İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court, which ruled for the continuation of his arrest after announcing its final verdict in the latest hearing of the trial on Friday.

Erdem was sent back to Silivri Prison following the trial.

An İstanbul prosecutor had been conducting an investigation into Erdem’s work as a journalist while he was editor-in-chief of the critical Karşı daily.

Erdem had been accused of “aiding a terrorist organization without membership in it,” “revealing the identity of a secret witness” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation” in an indictment approved by the court in May.

The Karşı daily had published wiretaps of suspects in a police investigation into then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s close circle on accusations of bribery and corruption in 2013.

Erdem’s passport was confiscated by police at an İstanbul airport in May 2018 following issuance of the indictment, which sought from nine years, six months to 22 years in prison.

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