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Opposition politician accused of espionage again freed pending trial

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An Ankara court has ordered the release pending trial of Metin Gürcan, a prominent defense analyst and opposition party co-founder, after he was previously released and arrested again the same day, local media reported on Wednesday.

Gürcan, one of the co-founders of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) who had been behind bars since Nov. 9, 2021 on charges of “political and military espionage,” was released and arrested again on the same day in May.

Accused by Turkish prosecutors of sharing classified information with foreign diplomats, the 46-year-old walked out of an Ankara prison early on May 12 due to a decision by the Ankara 26th High Criminal Court and was rearrested hours later after an objection filed by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was accepted by the Ankara 27th High Criminal Court, which ruled for his re-arrest.

According to Turkish media reports, the Ankara 26th High Criminal Court again ruled to release Gürcan pending trial on Wednesday. The court decision stipulates that Gürcan cannot go beyond the borders of İstanbul, where he resides.

Last year Gürcan criticized the government’s agreements with the United Arab Emirates, arguing that Turkey would be forced to make concessions in return for investment pledged by the UAE.

Gürcan joined Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, in founding DEVA in March of 2020.

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