Turkish court orders release of four jailed journalists

Photo: Turkish court orders release of four jailed journalists / Turkey

A Turkish court on Monday ordered the release of four journalists imprisoned for over a year on charges that they were involved in an alleged coup plot.

Ahmet Sik, Nedim Sener, Sait Cakir and Coskun Musluk were released after a surprise decision by the Istanbul court in its eleventh hearing of the year-old case.

Turkey's state news agency Anatolian reported that the court had ordered their release due to "a change in the possibility of their guilt" and "taking into account the length of time already spent in jail".

The four were arrested last year during a police raid on the OdaTV anti-government website. Police said documents seized in the raid linked the four to an alleged coup plot dubbed "Ergenekon," which has led to the arrest of dozens of former and serving military officers.

Several trials related to the alleged coup plot have deeply divided Turkish society.

Government supporters say the military and opposition groups conspired to overthrow the elected government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Government opponents say the trials are an attempt at stifling opposition and the press.

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