Several journalism and free speech trials were held last week. Below is a list of the hearings monitored by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) last week:
Trial where former Cumhuriyet web editor is charged with ‘terrorist propaganda’ adjourned until July
Third hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet’s former web editor Atakan Sönmez faces “terrorist propaganda” charges was held at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. Articles published during Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria were presented as evidence against Sönmez. It was revealed during the hearing that the prosecutor submitted a final opinion as to the accusations to the court yesterday and demanded Sönmez’s punishment for “successively making terrorist propaganda.” Sönmez and his lawyer Buket Yazıcı requested extra time for their final defense statements. The court accepted this request and adjourned the trial until 19 July.
Özgür Gündem police raid trial adjourned until November
Fourth hearing of the trial where 22 journalists who were taken into custody while the police was raiding since shuttered Özgür Gündem daily’s office on 16 August 2016 was held at İstanbul 5th Criminal Court of the First Instance today. Each of the defendants are tried on charges of “resisting a public officer to prevent them from performing their duty” and “insulting a public officer,” with a request of 8 years and 4 months prison sentence. The trial is adjourned until 5 November.
Trial of former Taraf journalists Baransu and Çoban adjourned until September
Nineteenth hearing of the case where since shut down Taraf daily’s correspondent Mehmet Baransu and former Managing Editor Murat Şevki Çoban stand trial for “disclosing information that must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security of the State through press” took place at Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court today. The judge decided to send the case file over to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office for the final opinion as to the accusations to be revised, the next hearing will take place on September 24th.
Court finds documentary filmmaker Kazım Kızıl guilty of ‘insulting the president’
Eleventh and final hearing of the trial where 24 people including documentary filmmaker and video activist Kazım Kızıl are accused of insulting the president” and “violating the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations” was held at İzmir 33rd Criminal Court of First Instance. The court sentenced Kızıl to 1 year 3 months and 16 days in prison for “insulting the president” charges. The sentence is not suspended but it will not be executed, the time Kızıl spent in detention during this trial will be taken into consideration.
Court rules to keep journalist Harun Çümen in prison
Third hearing of the trial where since shut down Zaman newspaper’s former Managing Editor Harun Çümen faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “willingly and knowingly aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” charges was held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court today. Çümen is tried whilst in detention. The court announced its interim decision following the defense statements. The court ruled for the continuation of Çümen’s detainment and adjourned the trial until 18 July.
Trial where Ahmet Altan is charged with not publishing refutation is adjourned
Second hearing of the trial where journalist and writer Ahmet Altan is charged with not publishing a refutation to one of his articles published in Taraf daily in 2010 was held at Anadolu 10th Criminal Court of First Instance. The court stated that not all heirs of Demirel could be notified and ruled that other sho couldn’t be reached shall be notified about the case and summoned for the next hearing. The trial is adjourned until 30 October.
Court acquits journalist Canan Coşkun of ‘insulting the president’
Second hearing of the trial where journalist Canan Coşkun faces “insulting the president” charges was held at İstanbul 40th Criminal Court of First Instance. The court ruled for Coşkun’s acquittal.
Journalist Osman Akın appeared before court on ‘terrorist propaganda’ charges
First hearing of the trial where Yeni Yaşam newspaper’s Managing Editor Osman Akın faces “successively making terrorist propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization” charges was held at İstanbul 28th High Criminal Court. Akın rejected the charges and was granted extra time to prepare his defense statement in response to the prosecutor’s claims. The trial is adjourned until October 22nd.
MLSA Co-Director Veysel Ok’s trial adjourned until September 12th
Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Co-Director lawyer Veysel Ok was supposed to appear before İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance for the trial where he is charged with denigrating the Turkish judicial system per Turkish Penal Code’s notorious Article 301 because of an interview he gave in 2015. Since the judge has taken the entire week off, the hearing was not held and Ok’s trial was adjourned until 12 September.
Cumhuriyet reporters Uludağ and Güvenç’s trial adjourned until October 10th
Second hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Alican Uludağ and Cumhuriyet’s diplomacy reporter at the timeDuygu Güvenç face “publicly denigrating the Turkish state and its judicial institutions” (Article 301) charges for their news story on Pastor Andrew Brunson titled “While the hostage diplomacy collapses” was supposed be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Since the judge has taken the entire week off, the hearing was not held and Ok’s trial was adjourned until 10 October.