İstanbul – The fourth hearing of the trial where Die Welt journalist Deniz Yücel whom MLSA represents in court, faces “insulting a public official” charges due to a tweet he posted on February 20, 2019, was held at İstanbul 24th Criminal Court of First Instance today.
The court accepted the prosecution’s request for additional time to prepare its opinion on the merits of the case and adjourned the trial.
The prosecutor requested additional time
The hearing started almost an hour later than it was initially planned. Yücel’s lawyer Veysel Ok stated that Yücel’s defense has been submitted, and they are ready to defend against the prosecutor’s opinion.
After Ok’s statement, the prosecutor Mehmet Genç requested from the court additional time in order to prepare their opinion on the merits of the case.
The court accepted the prosecution’s request and adjourned the trial until November 30th.
RSF, IPI and MLSA monitored the hearing
In addition to MLSA, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and International Press Institute also monitored the hearing. Journalist Elif Akgül followed the hearing for MLSA, while Onur Sazak from IPI and RSF’s Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu also followed the hearing.
The concerned tweet (translated here) 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 the tweet are also included in the defense statement that Yücel submitted to the court last May in relation to the main trial where he is accused of terrorist propaganda and inciting the public to hatred.
The indictment was drafted by prosecutor Celal Salıdere, who demands Yücel to be punished for “defamation of a public official” as regulated in Turkish Penal Code’s Article 125/3. İstanbul Vice Chief Prosecutor Hasan Yılmaz appears as the injured party in the file.