Trial marked by expulsion of a defense lawyer from the courtroom
The 12th hearing of the trial into 46 journalists and media workers as part of the series of criminal cases in connection with the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) investigation, also called the “KCK Press Trial”, was held January 19 in Istanbul Courthouse.
Only two of the journalists on trial, Hüseyin Deniz and Çağdaş Ulus, attended the hearing that was marked by the expulsion of a defense lawyer by the head judge.
Lawyer Gülizar Tuncer strongly opposed the judges’ decision to request all the legal files on all the journalists on trial. Tuncer argued that requested files were already accessible in the judicial informatics system (UYAP), including the documentation of previous investigations and prosecutions against those journalists.
Tuncer said this new request would amount to an attempt to create a perception of guilt and was unlawful. She was eventually expelled by the head judge after she had protested that her defense arguments were interrupted and the right of defense was obstructed.
The hearing was monitored by the European Union Delegation to Turkey. The trial was postponed April 27.
The KCK Press Trial is among the longest pending trials against journalists in Turkey still awaiting a first verdict.
The first hearing was held on September 10, 2012, when 36 journalists were under pre-trial detention. All journalists were released since in subsequent hearings. They face between 7,5 and 25 years in prison on charges of “membership and administration of a terror organization”.