This week, the hearings of several journalism and freedom of expression trials will be held. Below is the list of these hearings:
28 December Tuesday
- The sixth hearing of the trial where PEN Germany’s President and Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel whom MLSA represents in court, faces “insulting a public official” charges will be held at İstanbul 24th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 10:45. The indictment presents a tweet Yücel posted on Feb 20, 2019 and which was about the prosecutor who prosecuted Yücel but was also leading the investigation on Osman Kavala as evidence to the charges. At the fifth hearing of the trial, the prosecutor presented his opinion and requested that Yücel be sentenced for the charges.
29 December Wednesday
- The third hearing of the trial where journalist Can Dündar faces “espionage” charges will be held at İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court, at 10:00. This case file was first merged with “MİT Trucks Trial” where Dündar was sentenced 27 years and 6 months in prison for “espionage” and “assisting an armed terrorist organization.” The case file, however, was later separated at the sentencing hearing on June 8 because Dündar’s statement could not be taken as he lives abroad. At the second hearing of the trial on October 6, 2021, the court accepted Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intervention request, arguing that he might be harmed by the crime.
- The second hearing of the trial where 35 people including journalist Buse Söğütlü who had attended the “March 8th Feminist Night March” in 2020, face “defying the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations no. 2911”, “prevention of public duty” and “damage to public property” charges will be held at İstanbul 58th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 10:10. At the first hearing, the court’s decided to send a copy of the indictment to the İstanbul Financial Office of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance on the grounds that it might be harmed by the crime.
31 December Friday
- The 14th hearing of the trial where journalists Metin Yoksu, Tunca Öğreten, Eray Saygın, Derya Okatan, Mahir Kanaat and Ömer Çelik face “making terrorist propaganda”, “hindrance or destruction of an information system, deletion or alteration of data”, “acting on behalf of a terrorist organization without being a member” and “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court, at 10:45. The indictment presents journalists’ reporting on the emails of Berat Albayrak, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources at the time, which were leaked by RedHack.