Oğuz Güven is the editor-in-chief of the online edition of secularist opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet.
Güven was arrested early on May 12, 2017 in a police raid of his home in İstanbul. Anadolu news agency reported that Güven’s arrest was in connection with an investigation launched in the aftermath of the death of a state prosecutor in a road collision two days ago. The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office Bureau of Press Offenses, which is in charge of the criminal investigation, decided to extend Güven’s detention to 7 days. Anadolu said the investigation was launched because of some social media posts and news reports that “discredited those who conduct the fight against Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).” Other reports and social media posts about the death of the prosecutor were being examined as part of the investigation, according to Anadolu.
Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper died on May 10 when a truck crushed into his car in an intersection in the western province of Denizli. His driver was also killed in the same accident.
On May 15, Güven appeared before a judge, who ruled to jail him pending trial on charges of “propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
Güven was subsequently indicted with “terrorism propaganda” and “printing or broadcasting publications of terrorist groups,” a charge carrying a prison term of 2.5 years to 10.5 years.
Istanbul 28th High Criminal Court, which received the indictment, ruled to release Güven upon formally accepting the indictment. The court cited “the nature of the crime attributed to the suspect, the suspect’s attitude towards the process of investigation, the length of prison term sought by the prosecutor, the time he has already spent in prison, lack of suspicion that he might flee and his residence and employment status” as grounds for the decision to release Güven.
First hearing of Güven’s trial will be held on September 14, 2017.