İstanbul – Trial where journalist Cengiz Çandar and Kemal Işıktaş face “praising an offence and the offender” charges due to their social media posts, resumed at İstanbul 30th Criminal Court of First Instance today. The court ruled to lift the arrest warrant issued in the name of Çandar.
Lawyer Zelal Pelin Doğan, defendant Işıktaş and his lawyer Bahri Belen were present at the second hearing of the trial where Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) undertakes the legal representation of journalist Çandar.
In his defense, Işıktaş stated that he had posted on social media in order to express his sadness after the death of Ayşe Deniz Karacagil, also known as the “girl with the red scarf,” and requested his acquittal. Işıktaş, also noted that he will notify the court in the future hearings, about whether or not he will agree to the deferral of the announcement of the verdict.
Çandar who lives abroad, did not attend the hearing himself. His lawyer Doğan said: “The workplace and residential information of our client is evident, and have been presented in the case file. We have also brought the arrest warrant decision before the Constitutional Court. We expect you to change your opinion regarding the arrest warrant.”
“We only issued this decision to take his statement rapidly, if he enters into the country, there is no other intention,” the judge said. In response, lawyer Doğan reminded the judge of the controversy regarding the legality of the courts established at airports and said, “My client is a journalist, he does not wish to go through something like that.”
The prosecutor also said it could be “lifted” and added: “It is up to the court.”
In their interim decision, the judge ruled to lift the arrest warrant issued in the name of Çandar and adjourned the hearing until September 23.