Şerife Oruç released from custody after Batman 2nd High Criminal Court lifts arrest warrant against journalist
Former Dicle news agency (DİHA) reporter Şerife Oruç, who was arrested on July 9 as she was being released from the Elazığ T Type Prison, was released from custody on Tuesday.
Oruç had been in pretrial detention for two years as part of a trial in which she is charged with “membership in a terrorist organization.” She faces up to 15 years of imprisonment.
At the end of the sixth hearing of that trial, on July 9, the Batman 2nd High Criminal Court ruled to release the journalist pending the verdict in the trial. However, she was re-arrested as she was leaving the Elazığ T Type Prison on grounds of an arrest warrant issued earlier.
The Mezopotamya news agency reported that the arrest warrant had been issued by the 4th Criminal Judgeship of Peace in Diyarbakır as part of another case filed against the journalist during the time when she was already in detention. That file was later merged with the ongoing case in Batman. Oruç was arrested because the trial court had failed to lift the previous arrest warrant.
Oruç was released after the trial court lifted the arrest warrant on Tuesday.
Oruç is standing trial alongside her cousin, Emrullah Oruç, and the driver of the car the two were riding in, Muzaffer Tunç. All three were arrested and jailed pending trial on July 4, 2016, in Batman. The accusations against Şerife Oruç in the indictment are based on witness testimony.