Pınar Selek acquitted again in Istanbul ‘bombing’ case

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 19.12.2014 17:23
Updated 19.12.2014 20:07
Pınar Selek acquitted again in Istanbul ‘bombing’ case

A Turkish court ruled on Friday for the acquittal of Pınar Selek, a sociologist accused of involvement in a blast that killed seven people in Istanbul in 1998, which was described as result of an accident, not a terror attack, in a previous trial.

Selek was retried after having been acquitted three times in trials over the past decade.

Istanbul public prosecutor Yılmaz Kıstı had demanded life imprisonment for Turkish sociologist Pınar Selek over the deaths of seven people in an explosion that took place 16 years ago in Istanbul.

Selek was first charged and imprisoned in 1998 with responsibility for the explosion, which killed seven people and wounded 127 others at Istanbul's historic Spice Bazaar.

Selek spent two years in prison, but was later released when a team of forensic experts concluded that the blast at Istanbul's Spice Bazaar had been caused by an accidental gas leak. Turkish defense attorney, Akın Atalay, said it has not been proved whether or not a bomb caused the blast.

Earlier in June, Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the life sentence which had been imposed on Selek by another Istanbul court because of a detection of a legal error in the original sentencing process.

Selek, who had been accused of making a bomb and aiding PKK militants, is currently working in sociological research at the University of Lyon in France. She still hopes to return to Turkey freed of all charges.

She has been tried and acquitted of all charges on three occasions since 1998. Her most recent acquittal was amended in November 2012 by an Istanbul court, which sentenced her to life imprisonment in January 2013.

Her case has attracted a large amount of international attention and at the beginning of her appeal on April 30, a group of supporters from both Turkey and France gathered outside the court holding banners reading "Justice for Pınar Selek!''

The arrest warrant for Selek was lifted in October.

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