Deported Turkish academician, 4 others freed after charges dropped

TurkeyKUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has dropped the charges against deported Turkish national Ismet Oczelick and four others for using force to deter public officers from carrying out their duties.

The AGC said in a letter dated Aug 4 that it accepted the accused’s representation and agreed to allow all the five to be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Lawyer Faizal Faiz Mohd Hasani, for all five accused, said the RM4,000 bail would be refunded to their bailors by tomorrow.

“We applied to strike out the charges as they were defective and it was impossible to defend the four accused with Ismet as he is no longer here and he cannot come back,” he said.

Ismet, along with Suheyl Ozcelik, Erdem Eroglu, Sraj Mammadov and Mukhlis Amir Nordin, had claimed trial last December at the magistrate’s court here on a charge under Section 353 of the Penal Code of using criminal force on an immigration officer, Mohd Hafizuddin Mohamad, by pulling his shirt, pushing him and biting his arm.

The offence was allegedly committed on Dec 13 at Tamarind Condo, Jalan Sentul, here.

The charge was later amended to one alleging they had a common intention on using criminal force against three public officers, namely, Mohd Afandi Ahmad, Shah Rizal Asahan and Mohd Hafizuddin, by pulling their shirts, pushing them and biting their arms.

Ismet, who is an academician, was first detained on Dec 13 last year after he allegedly stopped plainclothes immigration officers from taking away his passport at his son Suheyl’s house.

Suheyl and three of his colleagues from an international school tried to help Ismet.

Police officers were summoned and arrested all five of them.

Four of them were released on bail but Ismet was detained in the Sungai Buloh prison for 53 days.

He was released on Jan 31 after being conferred refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and allowed to move freely until his trial was dispensed with.

However, on May 12, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said Ismet had been detained once again and deported to his home country Turkey, together with fellow countrymen Turgay Karaman, 43, and Ihsan Aslan, 39.

Khalid said all three of them posed a threat to national security.

Reports from elsewhere suggested that they had been deported to Turkey because they were believed to be part of the Gulen Movement that was linked to an attempt to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.