“Marco is free! Marco is free!”

For more than eight months, 17-year-old Marco W. from Uelzen in custody in Turkey – accused of sexual abuse. Now the court in Antalya has released him without conditions. The process is to be continued, but for the time being the joy about the release prevailed. .

The bishop of Hanover, Margot Kabmann, has reacted with great joy to the release of 17-year-old Marco from Uelzen, who has been imprisoned in Turkey for the past eight months. "I am happy with him and his family about this decision, which moves the hearts of the people just so close to Christmas," Kabmann told the epd on Friday.Many people had prayed regularly for Marco in the church congregations. "Two weeks ago, in the devotion for the opening of the living Advent calendar at the town hall in Uelzen, I wished Marco an angel at his side," Kabmann said. With all due respect to Turkish jurisdiction, such a long pre-trial detention for a minor is completely incomprehensible according to the German sense of justice.

Spontaneous Andac Members of the Uelzen Protestant Church of St. Peter.-St. Peter's parishioners spontaneously invited people to a prayer service in the church on Friday evening. The local people were very relieved that Marco had been released before Christmas, said Pastor Michael Dierben. During the devotion, all those who had helped to support Marco in this difficult situation wanted to express their gratitude and joy.In St. Petri was confirmed Marco, his parents are involved in the church. People from the community had been praying for him every Wednesday evening at a peace service in the church since his imprisonment.Immediately after the announcement of the Freilang from the pre-trial detention Marco W is to be released. have been brought back to prison by a prisoner transporter from the court to pick up his personal belongings there. He was then reportedly driven to the airport to board the flight home. The trial is scheduled to begin on 1. The campaign will be continued next April in Antalya.The 17-year-old is accused of sexually abusing Charlotte, a British woman four years his junior, in the Turkish resort of Side in April. The German student has always denied the accusations and spoke of a consensual contact.

Merkel: I am pleased German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about Marco's case at the EU summit in Brussels. "I am pleased that today the decision was made that Marco is free for now and can go home," said the Chancellor. Many people in Germany rejoiced with him. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) also expressed his relief.In Marco's home town of Uelzen, news of the freilang was greeted with great jubilation. People at vigils in the city chanted "Marco is free" just seconds after the news broke! Marco is free!". A motorcade was also formed, led by Marco's brother Sascha. Marco's mother, who is said to have been in Uelzen on Friday, has not yet shown herself to the public.Several trial observers had not expected the boy to be released as late as noon on Friday. Contrary to initial statements by the Turkish judge, the continuation of the trial was delayed from 13.30 o'clock to shortly after 15.00 a.m. Observers had taken this as a bad sign for Marco.

"Yes, he will be released on bail Friday" On the other hand, Turkey expert Faruk Sen had already said on Thursday that he expected the 17-year-old to be set free. "Yes, he will be released on bail on Friday," said the director of the Essen Center for Turkish Studies. The Turkish Ministry of Justice and Tourism would have "sorted it out".By the ninth day of the trial, the more than 140-page statement of Charlotte, the alleged victim of abuse, has apparently now also been presented. The girl had made a statement to the British police in early October. This testimony had not been available to the court in the original, which is why the trial had to be adjourned several times.

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Christina Cherry
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