Press Freedom

Deniz Yücel not acquitted in first hearing, will testify in Germany


The first hearing in the trial of Die Welt newspaper reporter Deniz Yücel took place on June 28 at the Istanbul 32. High Criminal Court. A request from Yücel’s lawyer Veysel Ok for his client’s prompt acquittal was rejected by the court, which adjourned the trial until Dec. 20.,

However, the court agreed that Yücel, who has been abroad since his release from prison on Feb. 16, can give his testimony in Germany.

In a statement where he reviewed the facts of the case, Yücel’s lawyer Ok offered a description of the case, stating that his client had been detained as part of an investigation into the leaked e-mails of Turkey’s energy minister, but was accused based on his articles and news reports on charges of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” and “inciting the public to hatred and hostility.”

Ok first requested immediate acquittal of his client.

Later, he criticized the indictment, which he said included evidence submitted in violation of the law.

“The indictment and the case file itself are clear evidence that this arrest has not been lawful,” he said.

He said a police report, which is an addendum to the indictment and “blacklists” sources Yücel talked with on the phone as “members of a terrorist organization,” was created in violation of the law, adding that the law enforcement authorities have no right to keep tabs on individuals. Ok also said that the inclusion of document was also in violation of international and domestic laws concerning the protection of sources.

Ok further asked for his client to be able to testify in court via video-conferencing.

The court rejected the request for acquittal, agreed to hear Yücel’s statement from Germany,  without specifying in what form the statement will be taken, and refused a request by defense to exclude the police record on Yücel’s phone conversations as evidence.

The next hearing will be on Dec. 20 at 9.30 am at the Istanbul 32. High Criminal Court in  Çağlayan Courthouse.

For the full statement of Veysel Ok, click here