July 28, 2016 / 9:45 AM / a year ago

Turkey has intelligence cleric Gulen could flee United States: justice minister

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, is shown in still image taken from video, as he speaks to journalists at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania July 16, 2016.Greg Savoy/Reuters TV/File Photo

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is receiving intelligence that the Muslim cleric it blames for orchestrating a coup attempt this month could flee his residence in the United States, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

Bozdag told broadcaster Haberturk TV that the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, could flee to Australia, Mexico, Canada, South Africa or Egypt. Turkey says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for years, is the mastermind behind the failed July 15-16 putsch that attempted to overthrow the government.

Gulen denies the charge.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Can Sezer; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Michael Georgy

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