A German woman, who was among 18 suspects linked to a terrorist group, was released pending trial by an Istanbul court Monday.
Meşale Tolu, who hails from a Turkish family, was arrested in May in a probe against the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which is recognized as a terrorist organization. The 33-year-old was a translator and journalist for a news agency serving as a mouthpiece of the banned group.
The 29th High Criminal Court in Istanbul approved the prosecutor's request to free all the defendants pending trial. The verdict justified the release with a long pre-trial detention of the suspects, imposed a ban on travel abroad, and a requirement of reporting to the nearest security authority once in a week for all the defendants. The next hearing is scheduled to April 2018.
The trial is being closely watched by Germany, which insists on Tolu's innocence. German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann and notable German author and journalist Gunther Wallraff were among those watching the hearing.
If convicted, Tolu and the others will be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for membership of a terrorist group and making propaganda for a terrorist group.