US judge tosses suit against Fethullah Gulen


A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed that Fethullah Gulen, the reclusive Muslim cleric now resident in Pennsylvania, orchestrated human rights abuses in his native Turkey.

Turkey's government funded the U.S. civil suit against Fethullah Gulen as part of a crackdown on the cleric and his movement by President Recep Erdogan. The suit contended that Gulen ordered sympathetic police, prosecutors and judges in Turkey to target members of a rival spiritual movement critical of his teachings.

U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani in Scranton dismissed the suit on Wednesday.

Gulen's attorneys had called the suit "pure political theatre" and an attempt by Erdogan to silence Gulen, who has criticised the Turkish leader.

His spokesman says the "U.S. justice system worked as it should."

The plaintiffs' attorney gave no immediate response.    (AP)

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