Van – 11th hearing of the trial where journalist Arif Aslan faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges was held today. Panel of judges accepted the extension request of the defense lawyers, and set the next hearing date as March 18.
Journalist Aslan, whom Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) defends, was taken into police custody on March 31, 2017 while filming in front of the Van Municipality Building is being charged with “membership in a terrorist organization.” The prosecutor had presented their final opinion as to the accusations during the previous hearing, which was held on February 11, and requested the punishment of Aslan.
Lawyers of Aslan, Murat Timur, Cihat Durmaz and Erselan Aktan filed a written extension request before the hearing, which was planned to be held at Van 5th High Criminal Court. The panel of judges accepted their request and adjourned the hearing until March 18.
Journalist Arif Aslan and former Dicle News Agency reporter Selman Keleş were taken into police custody while taking photos near the Van Municipality Building on March 31, 2017. Journalists spent eight months in pre-trial detention, before being released at their first hearing. The file of Keleş was separated from that of Aslan on September 3, 2020, due to Keleş residing abroad.
The prosecutor’s final opinion which was presented to the court during the previous hearing held on February 11, represents Aslan’s photos of some concrete blocks before the Van Municipality Building as evidence for crime and argues that Aslan was “conducting reconnaissance in order for terrorist organization PKK/KCK to achieve its goals.”