United States pastor faces espionage charges in Turkey

US Drops Charges Against Turkish Security Accused Of Attacking American Demonstrators

US Drops Charges Against Turkish Security Accused Of Attacking American Demonstrators

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Thursday that State had no role in the decision to drop the charges and that it was exclusively a Justice Department decision.

Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against 11 of 15 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security team who were accused in connection with the beating of protesters during their visit to Washington previous year, the latest twist in a case that caused a diplomatic rift between the USA and Turkey.

The United States has demanded his release.

Bill Miller, a spokesperson for the US Attorney, declined to comment when asked specifically about the timing of the decision but noted that the US had also filed motions to dismiss all charges against four other members of the security detail last November. As the Two-Way reported, there was an altercation between protesters and Erdogan supporters, leaving nine people injured, two seriously and two people were arrested. Charges against only four guards remain.

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"Allegations of human rights violations and abuses in South-East Turkey are massive and serious, and require efficient and prompt investigations at the national level and independent verification from worldwide observers". However, the decision to drop charges seems surprising. A State Department spokeswoman says that the timing was coincidental.

Mr. Erdogan's entire security detail left the country before charges could be brought against them.

Miller said there were assault charges still pending against two Canadian citizens, Mahmut Sami Ellialti and Ahmet Cengizhan Dereci, who have not been arrested. Two Americans pleaded guilty in December to assault in the matter and are now awaiting sentencing. They are awaiting sentencing in D.C. Superior Court.

Turkey has consistently failed to conduct credible criminal investigations into the civilian deaths that occurred in the context of the 2015-2016 security operations in the South-East, the report states. "It's documented on CNN and news outlets across the U.S. Yet he's allowed to bully and bribe away charges for these crimes, just as Turkey's done for a century and more, starting with the Armenian Genocide", said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

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