To Istanbul’s 27th High Criminal Court, the former newspaper and former directors of the Cumhuriyet newspaper Akın Atalay, Orhan Erinç, Murat Sabuncu, Aydın Engin, Hikmet Çetinkaya, HDP deputy Ahmet Şık, Önder Çelik, Bülent Utku, Güray Tekinöz, Hacı Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Ahmet Kadri Gürsel attended the hearing.
The court prosecutor who was asked for his opinion on the decision of the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, acting in agreement and consensus of the defendants FETÖ, PKK, DHKP-C to commit terrorist organizations claiming to commit the crime and wanted 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court to resist and punish the defendants.
The defendants opinions were asked of the Supreme Court about the reversal decision and they wanted to comply with the previous decision
When the court chairman asked the defendants his final remarks, Bahri Belen, one of the defendants’ lawyers, took the floor and said that the court should first decide whether the Supreme Court’s decision to abide is to be followed. The president of the court said that they would announce their verdicts together with their decision.
Thereupon, the defendant’s lawyer Ergin Cinmen demanded a rejection judge on the grounds that the procedure was not followed. The court rejected Cinme’s refusal and received the final remarks of the defendants. The defendants who took the stand for their last words demanded their acquittal. In summary, they said:
Ahmet Şık: The Supreme Court’s decision reflected the truth but it is incomplete. Anyone who is tried as a defendant here must be acquitted. The decision of the Court of Cassation is the determination that those in the investigation and prosecution phase cannot be lawful. Whoever is involved in this conspiracy must stand trial. The owner of the conspiracy, the judiciary and the media that make the partnership should know that we won’t neither fear nor kneel.
Akın Atalay: Akın Atalay: Prosecutor Murat İnam, who filed a lawsuit with the claim of “helping FETÖ” for us, continues to be tried for “FETÖ membership” in the Supreme Court of Appeals. Since we’ve been complicit in this case, then make the same provision for all of us. Journalism was condemned under our names. Journalism was arrested, journalism was punished.
Aydın Engin: Aydın Engin: You will make very serious decisions in a symbolic case like the Cumhuriyet Case when there are very serious claims about the politicization of the judiciary. This is your test, not mine. Good luck with it.
Murat Sabuncu: The duty of the journalist is to make news and to build the future by confronting the truth. I will continue to do journalism at any cost. If you are acquitting, acquit Ahmet or judge me with him.
Musa Kart: We witnessed a period exceeding the imagination of a humorist. After staying in Silivri for nine months, we appeared before the judge. The prosecutor that requested 40 years for us, was charged with being a FETÖ member. Shouldn’t we expect an apology while the Supreme Court decided that we’re doing journalism? Yeah, I’m waiting for an apology.
After the final remarks, the court board evacuated the courtroom to decide.
Kadri Gürsel was acquitted
The court acquitted Kadri Gürsel. The reasoning, the Constitutional Court’s decision, the position of the other defendants, the subject of the indictment should be evaluated within the scope of heavy criticism, not being a ruler, so there is not enough and convincing evidence of any doubt was shown. The lawyers stated that this decision of the court would go to the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, if the criminal department resisted the decision, the file would be evaluated at the General Assembly of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and that the penalties would be approved in this way.