Prosecutor also asks court to separate Kabakcı’s file on the charges of “insult” and “breach of confidentiality”

CANSU PİŞKİN, İSTANBUL

Şirin Kabakcı, the former Konya bureau chief of the shuttered Zaman newspaper, appeared before the 35th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on 3 December 2019 for the eighth hearing of his trial on the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization” and the additional charges of “insult and slander through press” and “violation of confidentiality.”

P24 monitored the hearing, which began three hours later than scheduled. Kabakcı and his lawyer Cumali Aydemir were in attendance in the courtroom. Intervenor Mehmet Şamil Şenalp was also present along with his lawyer Necmettin Cüneyt Şenalp.

The presiding judge Ahmet Aygün announced that the prosecution submitted their final opinion on 11 November 2019.

Kabakcı was initially sued by Mehmet Hasip Şenalp, one of the owners of Kon TV, for “insult and slander through press,” but the case was closed in 2015 after “no grounds for trial” were found. The case was relaunched in the wake of the 15 July 2016 coup attempt and later merged with the case in which Kabakcı faces the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization.”

Reading aloud the final opinion, prosecutor Emre Us requested the court to sentence Kabakcı on the “membership in a terrorist organization” charge. The prosecutor also asked the file to be separated on the charges of “insult through press” and “breach of confidentiality.”

Addressing the court, the intervenor’s lawyer said that they would not be requesting an extension of the investigation. Şenalp said he did not agree with the decision to separate the cases since the defendant’s alleged insult and threat had come “as a reflex” after his client exposed links to “FETÖ.” But personally his client had nothing against the accused, Şenalp told the court.

Kabakcı’s lawyer Aydemir requested additional time to prepare their final defense statements. Accepting the request for continuance, the court adjourned the trial until 20 February 2020.

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