APNewsBreak: US judge tosses suit against reclusive cleric

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed a reclusive Muslim cleric in Pennsylvania orchestrated human rights abuses in his native Turkey.

Turkey's government funded the U.S. civil suit against Fethullah Gulen (feh-TOOL'-lah goo-LEHN') as part of a crackdown on the cleric and his movement by President Recep Erdogan (REH'-jehp UR'-doh-wahn).

The suit contended 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 call the suit "pure political theater" and an attempt by Erdogan to silence Gulen, who has criticized the Turkish leader.

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

The plaintiffs' attorney had no immediate response.