Prosecutor seeks prison terms for journalists Hüseyin Aykol, Reyhan Çapan and Hasan Başak on three different charges

CANSU PİŞKİN, İSTANBUL 

The 12th hearing in the trial of Eren Keskin and Hüseyin Aykol, the former co-editors-in-chief of shuttered Özgür Gündem newspaper, its former responsible managing editor Reyhan Çapan and journalist Hasan Başak on the charges of “praising crime and criminal,” “incitement to commit crimes” and “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” took place on 17 July 2019 at the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.

P24 monitored the hearing, which was also followed by representatives from Article 19.

Neither Aykol, who was sent to prison just last week to serve a previous conviction in another Özgür Gündem trial, nor his co-defendants were in attendance. They were represented by lawyer Özcan Kılıç.

During the previous hearing, Kılıç had requested for the case file to be merged with the ongoing “Özgür Gündem main trial,” overseen by the 23rd High Criminal Court of Istanbul. The presiding judge informed those in attendance during Wednesday’s hearing that the court has only accepted Kılıç’s request in respect of Eren Keskin. 

Keskin’s file has been separated from this case and sent to the 23rd High Criminal Court to be merged with the ongoing main trial, where she faces similar accusations.

The prosecutor then submitted their final opinion, asking the court to convict Aykol, Çapan and Başak of “praising crime and criminal” and “incitement to commit crime.” The prosecutor also sought prison terms for Aykol and Başak on the “propaganda” charge, while they asked the court to convict Çapan of “systematically disseminating terrorism propaganda.”

Granting time for the preparation of the final defense statements in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion, the court adjourned the trial until 21 November 2019.

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