İstanbul – Fourth hearing of the trial where Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel faces “terrorist propaganda” and “provoking the people to hatred and animosity” charges was held at the İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court today.
Yücel, who remained in detention for a year in Turkey without an indictment, is now tried in absentia. Many representatives from local and international freedom of expression organizations monitored the hearing in solidarity with Yücel, including representatives from the German Consulate in İstanbul. Yücel was represented by his lawyer Veysel Ok.
The presiding judge noted that the defense statement Yücel presented in Germany on May 10th, 2019 has not been received by the court yet. In response to this remark, lawyer Veysel Ok said, “In our opinion, this trial should come to an end in light of the recent Constitutional Court judgement regarding my client. Your court has the authority to reach a verdict before receiving the defense statement because the Constitutional Court decision clearly indicates that my client’s right to freedom of expression has been violated gravely. Thus, we demand immediate acquittal pursuant to the high court’s decision without waiting for the rogatory papers to arrive.”
The prosecutor requested the court to wait for Yücel’s rogatory documents to be received from Germany. The court ruled to wait for Yücel’s defense statement to be formally received and adjourned the trial until Ocober 17, 2019.