Appeals court upholds Azeri-Turkish businessman’s sentence on conviction of Gülen links

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A regional appeals court in İstanbul has upheld a prison sentence handed down to Azeri-Turkish shipping magnate Mubariz Mansimov Gurbanoğlu on conviction of aiding a terrorist organization due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Birgün daily reported on Wednesday.

Considering the objection to the sentence filed by Mansimov’s lawyers, the court said the five-year sentence handed down to Mansimov by a local court on charges of aiding a terrorist organization was lawful.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The court, however, found the house arrest imposed on him to be a restriction of his liberty, ordering instead that Mansimov remain within the İstanbul city limits.

Mansimov was arrested in March 2020 and shortly afterwards released into house arrest with an electronic bracelet on his ankle.

Mansimov had come to the agenda again in recent weeks when crime boss Sedat Peker argued that former shady police chief and former interior minister Mehmet Ağar unlawfully seized the Yalıkavak Marina in the popular holiday resort of Bodrum in western Turkey, which belonged to Mansimov.

Ağar had defended himself saying the mafia would “unlawfully seize” the marina had he not been chairman of its board of directors but that he had to resign upon criticism from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

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