Turkish businessman on trial for cocaine smuggling freed by judge
Turkish businessman Ali Osman Akat, on trial accused of importing drugs from Columbia was freed pending the conclusion of the case.
“I believe the package was sent to me by mistake,” Akat said in a statement to the court, Birgün newspaper reported on Tuesday. Two other accused persons will continue to be held in detention, it said.
Birgün did not state any reason given by the court for Akat's release.
Akat is the former chairman of a leading business group – the Turkish-American Business Association - American Chamber of Commerce (TABA AmCham).
Akat was arrested after the seizure of a cargo containing cocaine mixed with iron powder in mineral samples in December, Birgün said. The cargo with a gross weight of 111 kilograms, was sent to Istanbul from Columbia via Panama, the United States and Germany, it said.