The tenth hearing of the case, in which Sözcü newspaper executives, employees and writers were charged with “assisting to an armed terrorist organization knowing and willingly without involving in the hierarchical structure” was held on 28 October 2019 at the Istanbul 37th High Criminal Court.
In the Judicial Package, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette on 24 October, “Thought statements that do not exceed the limits of reporting or for the purpose of criticism do not constitute a crime” was added to Article 7 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK). The defendant’s lawyers recalled this at the hearing and requested that the file be sent to the prosecutor to renew his opinion.
The court, which accepted the request, decided to send the file to the prosecution between the hearings and ask if there was any change in its opinion or to give time for the defense on the merits if the new opinion would be submitted.
The defendants Necati Doğru, Yücel Arı, Gökmen Ulu, Yonca Yücekaleli, Mediha Olgun and Metin Yılmaz and their lawyers were present at the hearing. The defendant, Emin Çölaşan, also attended the hearing from Ankara through Audio and Video Information System (SEGBİS). The defendants Mediha Olgun and Mustafa Çetin did not attend the hearing due to an excuse. Relatives of the defendants, as well as members of the press, the CHP deputies and a large number of people, including the CHP provincial managers followed the case in the audience.
Akbay’s warrant of arrest continues
The trial prosecutor said he did not have any say at this stage and left the court with discretion about the demands. Lawyer Fahri Emeksiz demanded the abolition of the arrest warrant against Burak Akbay.
The court decided to continue the arrest warrant against Akbay and postponed the hearing to 27 December 2019.