Istanbul 15. High Criminal Court ruled for the release of 15 defendants, including publisher and journalist Ragıp Zarakolu, that were being held in connection with the Istanbul leg of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK) case.
The justification of the releases were explained as "duration of the imprisonment time, the possibility of change on the classification of the offence and evidence".
Zarakolu and the others are expected to leave the prison in a couple of hours. Deniz Zarakolu, the son of Ragıp Zarakolu, are not amont the released defendants. Zarakolu was staying in the same cell with his son.
Songül Karatagna of Gündem daily is among the released.
The names of the released are:
Ragıp Zarakolu, Muhsin Yenisöz, İrfan Hülakü, Lütfü Balbal, Ali Geritli, Songül Karatagna, Nahit Onat, Zeynal Çelik, Neci Elmas, Burhanettin Toprak, İsmail Zeybek, Evrim Öztürk, Yasin Yalçın, Cemalettin Gördegir, Alaattin Güneş
Zarakolu was arrested on October 28, 2011 together with more than 50 people. In early December, he was imprisoned pending trial. The prosecutor seeks for 7,5 to 15 years of imprisonment for Zarakolu.
First hearing of the case will be on July 2 in Silivri. (IC/HK)
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