UN legal body orders Turkey to release judge

A United Nations legal panel has ordered Turkey to release a judge who is among thousands of people detained in the aftermath of last year's failed coup.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) on Tuesday ordered Ankara to free Judge Aydin Sefa Akay, who also serves as a U.N. jurist, by Feb. 14 and halt legal proceedings against him.

Akay is a member of a panel of judges that is reviewing the case of a former Rwandan government minister who was convicted of involvement in his country's 1994 genocide.

In a statement, the MICT says that the order to release Akay is legally binding under a U.N. Security Council resolution requiring states to comply with the mechanism's orders.

Turkey has detained thousands of people since the failed coup.