Journalist Sertaç Kayar’s trial is adjourned until 26 June

5 April 2019

Deniz Tekin, Diyarbakır - The trial where journalist Sertaç Kayar is charged with “founding and managing a terrorist organization” for his journalistic activities is adjourned until 26 June in order to complete missing documents in the file and collect witness testimonies.

Third hearing of the trial where journalist Sertaç Kayar faces “founding and managing a terrorist organization” charges resumed at Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court today. Kayar stands trial as part of an investigation launched by Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office targeting the Democratic Society Congress (DTK). 31 separate marches, demonstrations and press conferences that Kayar had attended as a reporter in Diyarbakır between 2012-2014 are used as evidence against him. The fact that he visited the DTK building several times in order to meet with officials and news sources for interviews is also used against him. The prosecutor demands up to 22 years in prison for Kayar on “founding and managing a terrorist organization” charges.

Journalist Sertaç Kayar and his lawyer attended the hearing. Several journalists were present in the courtroom to show solidarity as well. The hearing began by the judge reading out loud new documents that had entered the file between hearings. The judge stated that case witness Menderes Öner’s testimony will be heard during a hearing that will take place on 26 April at Çorum High Criminal Court per their instruction. Öner had previously given a witness testimony to the police, stating that Kayar is just a journalist.

Sertaç Kayar and his lawyer Şivan Cemil Özen repeated their previous statements and requested their witness to be heard.

The hearing lasted only three minutes before the court announced their interim decision. The court ruled to wait for witness Menderes Öner’s testimony to be heard and entered into the file and adjourned the trial until 26 June.  

About the case

Kayar presented his defense in response to the allegations during the first hearing that took place on 21 November 2018. Kayar stated that the investigation against him was launched by some FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) members for they were made uncomfortable by Kayar’s reporting on how questions for the Public Personnel Selection Test (KPSS) was leaked. Kayar noted that he can be seen with his camera, taking photos in all of the photos from press conferences and demonstrations that are presented as evidence in the file. Emphasizing that the photos clearly show how he followed these events as a reporter, Kayar stated that these photos cannot be incriminated in any way.