Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

BirGün journalists’ trial adjourned until April

BirGün journalists’ trial adjourned until April

Court rules to merge new indictment against Barış İnce on the charge of “terrorist group membership” with ongoing case

The second hearing in the trial of BirGün daily’s executives İbrahim Aydın, Barış İnce, Can Uğur and Bülent Yılmaz on the charge of “aiding a terrorist group without being its member” was held on 5 March 2020 at the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul.

P24 monitored the hearing, which was attended by the four defendants and their lawyers.

The trial had been launched over news coverage of posts by the Twitter account “Fuat Avni” featured in the online edition of the newspaper between 2014 and 2015.

The hearing began with the presiding judge Ömer Günaydın announcing that a separate indictment had been prepared against Barış İnce on the charge of “terrorist group membership” concerning posts shared by the Twitter account called “kacsaatoldunet” and that the new indictment had been merged with this trial.

In his defense statement concerning the merged file, İnce rejected the allegations leveled against him. İnce explained that they had wanted to launch a platform for sports and entertainment news and bought “kacsaatoldunet,”a Twitter account with nearly 200,000 followers, for TL 4,000 from Emrah Besler, who ran the account at the time, in September 2017. They changed the name of the account to ekspreshaber.com and began to delete the previous posts but they could not go through all previous posts because of their busy work schedule and also because it was taking too much time. İnce said that therefore, posts from the year 2015 were not theirs and rejected the accusation.

Announcing its interim decision at the end of the hearing, the court accepted the request of the defense for additional time to prepare defense statements against the merged indictment and adjourned the trial until 14 April.

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