Bengisu Kömürcü, İstanbul - The sixth hearing of Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Şebnem Korur-Fincancı who had participated in the "Editor-in-Chief-On-Watch" solidarity campaign launched by Özgür Gündem newspaper was held at İstanbul 13. High Criminal Court today.
The defendants who participated in the solidarity campaign for Özgür Gündem newspaper which was shut down with Statutory decree No.675, are accused of “terrorist propaganda”. Writer Ahmet Nesin who has been living in France for 2 years was absent in the hearing whereas Reporters Without Borders (RSF) representative Erol Önderoğlu and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Chair Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Financı were present in the courtroom. The hearing was monitored by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Director Barış Altıntaş and MLSA Coordinator lawyer Veysel Ok.
Next hearing will be held in January
The panel of judges decided to submit Ahmet Nesin's defense statement to an expert which was written in French, to be translated into Turkish and wait for the execution of the arrest warrant in his name. The hearing was adjourned until 28 January.
'This lawsuit aims to exclude the civil society out of its legitimate area of operation'
Erol Önderoğlu made a short press statement after the hearing and explained that the process was slowed down due to Ahmet Nesin's statement who lives abroad. He said, "The prosecutor's final opinion has not been submitted yet. Thus we expect the proceeding to continue for a while. They are aiming to exclude the civil society out of its legitimate area of operation. We hope that these arbitrary sanctions against civil society come to an end in the near future, which is what will suit the public interest. Nesin's statement was in French, it is now sent out to the expert. We expect to have 2-3 more hearings until the final judgment."