Van – Trial where journalist Oktay Candemir faces “making terror propaganda” based on an indictment prepared two years after his detainment in April 2019 during a police raid into his home, began today at Van 5th High Criminal Court.
Candemir, whom the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) defends, and his lawyer Erhan Çiftçiler were present in the hearing which began with routine identity checks.
The indictment against Candemir includes some social media posts that were made subject to a criminal proceeding as a result of which he was acquitted, some footage and photos he took 16 years ago during various meetings and demonstrations of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) held in Ağrı, Kars and Iğdır.
“Photos fall within the scope of my journalistic work, they do not carry an aim for propaganda”
During the hearing, the first person to take the floor was Candemir. Repeating the previous statements he gave at the police station, Candemir touched upon the evidence presented against himself. “The photos were taken within the scope of my journalistic work, they do not carry an aim for propaganda. Hence, I refuse the accusations,” he said and demanded his acquittal.
Following the journalist’s statement, lawyer Çiftçiler reminded the court that the social media posts in the indictment were already used as evidence against the journalist in a previous proceeding and said, “Candemir was tried for these social media posts and acquitted. The indictment selects and crops some bits of the same posts and makes a new case. Hence, this is not a valid indictment. We demand the posts from the previous case-file be added into this one without the cropping of their screenshots.”
Çiftçiler requested the trial be rejected or Candemir acquitted.
Following the defense statements, the court ruled to send the case-file over to the prosecutor’s office for the drafting of the final opinion as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on September 23.