Elif Akgül, İstanbul – The tension surrounding the controversial trial of Nazlı Ilıcak, a journalist charged with ‘espionage through revealing secret documents of the state, continued to build today as the prosecution requested that the İstanbul 26. High Criminal Court sentence Ilıcak to life in prison.
The prosecution based their argument on the allegation that Ilıcak violated Article 330/1 of the Turkish Penal Code by publishing an article in Bugün newspaper based on secret documents she had received via Twitter.
Ilıcak has been detained in Bakırköy Prison since July 2016, and appeared in court via the judicial teleconferencing system SEGBİS. In her defense statement she described how “I received the documents on 29 December through an open Twitter account. I published them on 3 January, and did not speak a word of it before then.” She went on to note that the content of the documents had already become common knowledge prior to the publication of her article. “I am being tried because I made a comment on something that everyone had already known.”
Ilıcak’s lawyers lambasted the prosecution for perceived failures. They noted that the Turkish Press Law requires prosecutors to open cases such as this within four months of an article’s publication. Ilıcak’s article was published in January 2015, but she was not arrested until a year later.
The court granted Ilıcak and her lawyers extra time to prepare their defense and adjourned the hearing until October 9.
Updated: December 6 2018