Case Monitoring

The trial of journalist Sezgin Kartal is adjourned until December

EYLEM SONBAHAR*

The second hearing of the trial in which journalist Sezgin Kartal whom MLSA represents in court, faces “insult by means of an oral, written or visual medium message” charge upon complaint by columnist Fuat Uğur was held in the İstanbul 24th Criminal Court of First Instance.

The indictment presents a tweet Kartal had shared on his personal account on 21 June 2021 and in which he criticized Uğur’s column which was published on Türkiye daily on June 19 2021. However, the prosecutor fails to state in the indictment that the tweet in question was intended to criticize Uğur’s column in which Uğur had claimed that the attack on the İzmir provincial building of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) which resulted in the death of Deniz Poyraz was the machination of HDP itself.

Before the hearing, it was heard that a security guard asked the bailiff if anyone is here to observe the trial of Sezgin Kartal as they have been instructed by the police to follow the hearing. Upon being asked by lawyer Merve Kurhan about the reason for the police’s instruction, the security guard replied “I don’t know. We were told to do so” and moved away from the courtroom.

Uğur and his lawyer did not attend today’s hearing while Kartal was present in the courtroom together with his lawyer Merve Kurhan.

The prosecutor repeated his final opinion, which he presented to the court at the first hearing and in which he requested that Kartal be sentenced for “insulting by means of an oral, written or visual medium message” arguing that Kartal openly committed the offense he has been charged with.

Kartal’s lawyer Kurhan objected to the prosecution’s final opinion and requested additional time in order to prepare their arguments against the final opinion. Accepting the request, the court adjourned the trial until  20 December 2022.

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