Van – Sixth hearing of the trial where since shuttered Dicle News Agency reporter Selman Keleş and journalist Arif Aslan face “membership in a terrorist organization” charges resumes at Van 5th High Criminal Court today.
Journalist Arif Aslan and his lawyer Cahit Durmaz were present in the courtroom. Aslan’s journalist colleagues attended the hearing in solidarity with him.
Aslan’s lawyer Cahit Durmaz took the floor first and emphasized that journalism is a service fo the public, further arguing that the file should be evaluated per press freedom and requested his client’s acquittal.
Lawyer Durmaz requested Selman Keleş’s file to be separated from the case because he lives abroad; hence, he cannot attend the hearings.
The court rejected the demand for acquittal and decided to review the request about separating Keleş’s file from the case during the next hearing. The trial is adjourned until 16 January 2020.
The two journalists were arrested as terror suspects on 30 March 2017 while taking photos near Van Municipality building and were released during the first hearing of their trial, which was held on 21 November 2017.