Turkish court releases assailant of veteran journalist Can Dündar

Cumhuriyet Daily Chief Editor Can Dündar sentenced to 10 years in prison and its Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül was handed 5 years in prison.

ISTANBUL – An Istanbul-based Turkish court on Oct. 21 ordered the release of assailant Murat Şahin, who was arrested after staging an armed attack targeting former daily Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar outside a courthouse in May, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Şahin’s lawyer demanded his client’s release, claiming that his five and a half month arrest period had “turned into a social revenge.” He also said Şahin could “even become an injured party” if his arrest period was extended, according to an updated law on the execution of sentences.

Dündar’s lawyer, meanwhile, requested an extension to investigation proceedings in order to determine Şahin’s previous communications linked to the attack.

The Istanbul 28th criminal court of first instance ordered for Şahin to be released, based on the status of the evidence so far presented and his arrest period already served.

It also adjourned the hearing in order to give his lawyers time to prepare further defense against the accusations.

On May 6, Şahin approached the then-editor in chief of daily Cumhuriyet Dündar while he was speaking to reporters during a break in a hearing outside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse, firing two shots at Dündar’s legs while shouting, “You are a traitor.” The shots failed to hit Dündar, but one bullet did strike the leg of NTV reporter Yağız Şenkal who was at the scene.

The prosecutor’s indictment demands prison terms ranging from four to eleven years for Şahin on charges of malicious wounding, threatening with a gun and insult.

At the time of the attack, Dündar was on trial alongside Cumhuriyet’s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül for publishing photographs of a covert arms shipment by Turkey’s national intelligence agency to Syria.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

UA-57178893-1