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Austrian student on terror charge in Turkey is acquitted

Austrian student on terror charge in Turkey is acquitted

An Austrian student and journalist charged with membership of a leftist terrorist group in Turkey has been acquitted, AFP reports. Max Zirngast, who wrote for international publications including a far-left German magazine, was arrested exactly a year ago, accused of links to the outlawed Turkish Communist Party (TKP)/Kivilcim group.

At the time of his arrest, the 30-year-old was also a political science masters student at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara.  He had defended himself in Turkish at the last hearing in April.

“A verdict was received that Max did not take part in any illegal activity or any activity constituting a crime,” his lawyer, Murat Yilmaz, said on Wednesday. Two Turkish citizens, Mithatcan Turetken and Hatice Goz, who were arrested along with Zirngast, were also acquitted.

Zirngast had been free pending the latest hearing on Wednesday but had been barred from leaving Turkey. He rejected the charges and denied the TKP/Kivilcim group even exists.