Trial of journalist Rüstem Batum resumed today at İstanbul 41st Criminal Court of First Instance. Batum faces charges of “insulting the President” due to his statements on the TV programme titled “Ayşegül Doğan’la Gündem Müzakere” which aired on September 10, 2015 on İMC TV, a TV channel that was shut by a government decree in 2016.
Batum, who lives abroad, is defended by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA). Batum’s lawyer told the court that his client lives in the United States of America, and that he cannot return to Turkey as he is in a high-risk group due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and due to his occupation as a journalist. The defense lawyer requested his client’s defense be taken via letters rogatory from where he resides.
The court granted the defense extra time to submit the defendant’s residency address information. Ruling for the preparation of the documents required for letters rogatory, the court decided to wait for the execution of the arrest warrant in the name of Batum, and adjourned the hearing until June 8.