Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Monday rejected an appeal to release İlhan İşbilen, a 74-year-old former AKP deputy, from prison, the TR724 reported.

İşbilen was sent to prison in 2015 over his alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, accused by the government of masterminding a coup attempt in 2016. The group denies any involvement.

İşbilen was sentenced to life in prison in 2018 on charges of constituting the “brain team” of the Gülen group. The man reportedly has diabetes and a heart condition, thus is at higher risk for COVID-19 complications.

Turkey’s parliament passed a bill on Tuesday that will allow the release of tens of thousands of prisoners as part of the country’s ongoing struggle against the COVID-19 epidemic. Political prisoners who are convicted or being held in pre-trial detention over Gulen links are exempted.