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US wants swift end to Istanbul consulate staff trial

May 15, 2019
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Pigeons fly outside the main Justice Palace in Istanbul, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, as the trial begins against Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee of the United States Consulate in Istanbul charged with espionage and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. Topuz, a translator and assistant for the Drug Enforcement Agency at the consulate, will have his second hearing Wednesday. He has been in pre-trial detention since October 2017. (AP Photo/Mehmet Guzel)

ISTANBUL (AP) — A U.S official has called for the trial of a Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate on espionage charges to be resolved “swiftly, transparently and fairly.”

The trial was adjourned Wednesday until June 28.

Metin Topuz, a translator and assistant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, has been jailed on charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. His case is one of several issues that have strained ties between the NATO allies.

Topuz is accused of links to U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for the 2016 coup attempt. Topuz, who faces a life sentence if convicted, denies the charges.

U.S. charge d’affaires Jeffrey Hovenier told reporters there was “no credible evidence of any criminal wrongdoing” against Topuz.

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1 of 3
Pigeons fly outside the main Justice Palace in Istanbul, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, as the trial begins against Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee of the United States Consulate in Istanbul charged with espionage and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. Topuz, a translator and assistant for the Drug Enforcement Agency at the consulate, will have his second hearing Wednesday. He has been in pre-trial detention since October 2017. (AP Photo/Mehmet Guzel)