BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – A lawyer said that a Turkish court ordered the release of three journalists and three others that are imprisoned on charges of revealing state secrets in their coverage of the news of the killing of two Turkish intelligence officers in Libya.
The eight defendants in the case, including six who have been in detention since early March awaiting trial, face charges of revealing the identity of two members of the Turkish intelligence service.
Turkey is providing military support and training in Libya to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which has helped it fend off a 14-month-old attack on the capital, Tripoli, by Libyan National Army (LNA).
The charges against the journalists in the case are centered on articles and writings on social media published shortly after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement in February that Turkey had “many martyrs” in Libya.
The eighth suspect is an employee of the Akisar municipality in western Turkey, and he is charged with providing photos of the funeral of one of the two dead intelligence officers to reporters.
Lawyer Jalal Ulgen said that the court decided on Wednesday, to release the accused, Parish Turkoglu, from the Uda TV website, and Farahat Jelik and Aiden Kaiser from Yeni Yasam newspaper.
The next court hearing will be held on September 9.