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Turkey seeks life in jail for main opposition lawmaker over intel trucks
January 11, 2017 / 2:08 PM / 8 months ago

Turkey seeks life in jail for main opposition lawmaker over intel trucks

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish prosecutor has demanded life imprisonment for an opposition MP accused of providing a newspaper with video purporting to show Turkey’s intelligence agency trucking weapons into Syria, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.

Lawmaker Enis Berberoglu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is due to appear in court on charges of aiding an armed terrorist organization and making public information that was supposed to stay secret. Berberoglu has defended the video, saying it was genuine.

A report in Cumhuriyet newspaper in May 2015 said that trucks allegedly owned by the National Intelligence Agency (MIT), Turkey’s state intelligence service, were found to contain weapons and ammunition that were headed for Syria when they were stopped and searched in southern Turkey in early 2014.

Prosecutor Mehmet Yesilkaya said in an indictment that Berberoglu provided the video footage of the trucks to the newspaper, Anadolu agency reported, asking for a life sentence.

The government has denied accusations that weapons were sent to Syria, saying the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid.

Last year, two prominent journalists, Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, were sentenced to at least five years in jail for revealing state secrets in a related case. The prosecutor is now seeking an additional 10 years in prison for Dundar and Gul over the report on intelligence trucks.

The convictions drew protests from rights groups and Western governments worried about worsening human rights in Turkey under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Daren Butler and Angus MacSwan

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