The fourth hearing of the trial in which PEN Berlin’s Spokesperson and Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel faces “degrading the Turkish Nation, State of the Turkish Republic, Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial bodies of the State” and “insulting the President” charges was held in the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. The court’s decided to wait for the return of the rogatory letters issued to Germany and adjourned the trial until January 24, 2023.
The trial, which has been brought against journalist Yücel after the İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court which sentenced Yücel in 2020 filed a criminal complaint against the journalist because of his 2016 articles published in Die Welt, resumed today in the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
Yücel, who lives abroad, did not attend today’s hearing. His lawyers Merve Kurhan and Erselan Aktan were present in the courtroom. Taking the floor, Yücel’s lawyers reminded the court of the European Court of Human Rights’ Vedat Şorli v. Türkiye judgment concerning the “insulting the president” charge and the case law of the Court of Cassation concerning the expression Yücel had used in one his articles and reiterated their requests for Yücel’s immediate acquittal.
Taking the floor after the lawyers’ arguments, prosecutor Türkşad Kunthan Uçuk requested that the case file be completed.
Announcing his decision without a deliberation break, the judge decided to wait for the return of the rogatory letters issued to Germany and adjourned the trial until January 24, 2023. The judge did not respond to the immediate acquittal request.
The concerned tweet of Yücel was posted on Feb 20, 2019 and is about the prosecutor who was leading the investigation on Osman Kavala, the same prosecutor who accused Deniz Yücel of terrorist propaganda for an interview he conducted while misrepresenting the language of Yücel’s interview.
The statements that are included in this tweet are also included in the defense statement that Yücel submitted to the court in May 2019, in relation to the main trial where he was accused of terrorist propaganda and inciting the public to hatred. Yücel was acquitted of “inciting the public to hatred” charges whereas the court ruled for his punishment for “propaganda” on 16 July 2020.
The indictment was drafted by prosecutor Celal Salıdere, who demands Yücel to be punished pursuant to Turkish Penal Code’s Article 125, which regulates insult. İstanbul Vice Chief Prosecutor Hasan Yılmaz appears as the injured party in the file.
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