A Turkish news agency said that a court has released a man whom prosecutors accuse of plotting to murder Jewish rabbis and the Istanbul-based leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.
The Anatolia agency says suspect Ismet Recber was freed pending the outcome of the trial following the first hearing Wednesday.
Recber, a carpenter, resident of the eastern city of Kars, was arrested by the police's counter-terrorism forces last June. He told his investigators that he "hates Jews" but denied that he had planned to kill leaders of Turkey's 20,000-member Jewish community. He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of plotting to kill Patriarch Bartholomew I.
The arrest came on the backdrop of the serious diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey, which began during the Israeli operation in Gaza and peaked following the deadly Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, which prompted Ankara to recall its ambassador in Tel Aviv and sever ties with Israel.
However, Turkish leaders have stressed all along that their only problem was with the Israeli government, not with its citizens or with Jews.
Anatolia says the man was arrested after an anonymous letter was sent to authorities claiming that a suspect in a separate trial had chosen Recber to carry out the killings.
The separate trial involves an alleged secularist plot to bring down the Islam-oriented government
AFP contributed to the report
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