In the defamation case where PEN Germany’s President and Die Welt reporter Deniz Yücel is on trial for allegedly calling the then Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor and the current Deputy Minister of Justice, Hasan Yılmaz “an idiot”, Yücel’s lawyers’ requested that the aggrievements caused by the complainant and the unlawful indictments prepared by him be investigated.
Yücel’s lawyer’s request for the prosecution to be extended by examining the indictments prepared by complainant Yılmaz, in the context of the meaning of the word in question, was rejected on the grounds that it would not contribute to the case.
The sixth hearing of the trial where Yücel is on trial for the charges of “insulting a public official” because of a tweet he posted on February 20, 2019, was held at the Istanbul 24th Criminal Court of First Instance on 28 December.
MLSA Co-Director, lawyer Veysel Ok represented Yücel in the court. Several journalists also attended the hearing in Çağlayan Courthouse.
Attorney Ok stated that the term “idiot” means “a person who makes an unbalanced decision” according to the dictionary by Turkish Language Institution (TDK) and requested the court to inquire if there is a judgement of violation about the complainant prosecutor so that it can be established whether the prosecutor fits the definition or not. Ok argued that this investigation is important as it would show whether or not the person or persons in question who allegedly insulted the complainant were unjustly provoked.
‘Prosecutor rejected a football article as an appeal petition’
Ok said, “The tweet in question is a recitation. Moreover, the expression ‘idiot’ means ‘a person who makes erratic decisions’ in the TDK dictionary and it describes the actions of a person, not his personality. Because of the investigation carried out by the complainant, my client was detained in Silivri for 10 months and for no reason. We objected to this detainment 10 times. In fact, a football article we had submitted instead of an appeal petition was rejected by the prosecution in the same manner as if it was a petition. To this date, no actions were taken on that football article either. The complainant adopted a similar stance on the case of Osman Kavala.”
Judge Aslıhan Güngör Özbakır, interrupting Ok, indicated that the statements were not related to the case.
Thereupon, attorney Ok said, “It is important for our plea. We want the court to inquire with the Ministry of Justice about all the Constitutional Court and the ECtHR rulings on those indictments prepared by the complainant and how many ruling violations were handed down about these indictments.”
In addition, Ok said that in his statement taken in Germany via rogatory letters, Yücel was asked about the deferment of the announcement of the verdict (HAGB) by the judge and he declined it. Ok pointed out that Yücel’s rejection of HAGB is not included in the case file and asked for the document to be added.
Prosecutor Hüseyin Emre Ertaş repeated his opinion on the merits of the case in which he requested that Yücel be sentenced.
Granting additional time for the preparation of the defense, the court adjourned the trial until February 8, 2022.