İstanbul - Fourth hearing of the trial where nine defendants including Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar face “membership in a terrorist organization” charges took place at Istanbul 32nd High Criminal Court today.
Although the hearing was scheduled to start at 9:50 AM, it was delayed until 12:16 PM due to lags from previous hearings. Defendant Sıtkı Güngör and his defense lawyers attended the hearing.
Witnesses who were expected to attend the hearing did not show up so the court decided to hear statements from those who attended. Güngör presented a medical report detailing his mother’s deteriorating health condition. Güngör demanded his international travel ban to be lifted and stated: “My family lives abroad. My mother cannot travel to Turkey due to her health condition. I’ve been tried in several cases since 2006. I’ve never considered fleeing my country. I always came back whenever I had to go abroad on a business trip.”
Defense lawyers also mentioned that the international travel ban has gone beyond a judicial control measure and turned into a significant inconvenience that turned into a punishment, and demanded the ban to be lifted.
In its interim decision, the court ruled for the continuation of all judicial control measures and decided to write letters about secret witness Zafer Atılım to be heard on Ali Sönmez Kayar’s behalf. The court also demanded witness Sercan Kaya to attend the next hearing in order to provide a statement on Kaya’s and defendant Boran Atıcı’s behalf. The court requested the necessary digital material expert reports from concerned institutions as well.
The trial is adjourned until 31 October.