Court decides to wait for the completion of Zarakolu's red notice

30 November 2018

İstanbul court upholds red notice for Ragıp Zarakolu, adjourns hearing until 7 February 2019

Eylem Sonbahar, İstanbul – The trial of writer and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu, professor Dr. Büşra Ersanlı and writer İhsan Eliaçık ended ambiguously today at the İstanbul 13. High Criminal Court. The court chose to wait for the execution of an extradition request and arrest warrant issued in Zarakolu’s name, and adjourned the hearing until February 7 2019.

The defendants have been accused of ‘aiding and abetting a terrorist organization’. After a few administrative identity checks at the beginning of the hearing, the defendants were allowed to continue presenting their statements of defense. Yaşar, who is currently being held in pre-trial detention, appeared in court via the judicial teleconferencing system SEGBİS. Yaşar made clear his desire to appear in court in-person for future hearings and requested that the hearing record be delivered to the prison where he is being held.

Zarakolu, who as previously mentioned is the subject of an extradition request and arrest warrant, also faces charges at the İstanbul 23. High Criminal Court. Zarakolu’s lawyer Sennur Baybuğa reminded the court of this, noting that the charges in that court are more severe. Indeed that court has chosen to write a rogatory letter. “We think that a rogatory letter should be written in this case as well,” stated Baybuğa “If need be, we request the court to review the rogatory letter of İstanbul 23. High Criminal Court.”

Another defense lawyer, Mahmut Taşçı, then rose to note that past rogatory letters and other pieces of court documentation have been the subject of translation errors. “As we have seen today, numerous mistakes are being made during the translation of the statements from Kurdish to Turkish. Therefore we request the Kurdish statements to be reviewed by experts.”

The court chose not to make final decisions on these subjects, and adjourned the hearing until February 2019.


Updated: December 3 2018