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Court adjourns hearing of Sertaç Kayar, journalist accused of terrorism

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Deniz Tekin, Diyarbakır – The second hearing of journalist Sertaç Kayar, who has been accused of ‘founding and leading a terrorist organization’, took place in the Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court. Kayar believes that the charges are intended to muzzle him after his exposure of the 2012 KPSS scandal regarding public personnel selection examinations.

Kayar faces a prison sentence of between 15 and 22 ½ years. The evidence against him consists of his own news reports concerning government press statements, public demonstrations and key events.

Kayar was present at the hearing and was represented by Sivan Cemil Özen. Mahmut Oral, Diyarbakır representative of the Turkish Journalists Union, was also present – as was a crowd of other journalists.

The hearing began with the addition of newly arrived documents into the case file, after which Kayar was summoned to continue his defense statement. Kayar noted that the charges against him were made in 2012, immediately after his reporting on the KPSS scandal. He argued that this indicates that the charges are meant to suppress his writing.

Özen then rose to take over the defense of his client, citing a previous case in which charges were made against Kayar, who was eventually acquitted. Özen reminded the court that the previous charges were filed by FETÖ, the Gulenist movement alleged to have masterminded the 2016 coup attempt.

Özen subsequently requested that a witness statement be taken from Menderes Öner. The prosecution acceded to the request, and the court decided that an invitation to make a statement shall be sent to Öner’s address. The court then adjourned the hearing until April 5.

Updated: November 27 2018