Last week in free speech: Week of March 11 - 15

16 March 2019

Several journalism and free speech trials were held last week. Below is a list of the hearings monitored by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) last week:

Journalist Kemal Özer’s trial adjourned until 27 March

The Prosecutor presented their opinion as to the accusations and requested defendant Kemal Özer to be punished for “membership in a terrorist organization” charges during this hearing. Evrensel daily’s Tunceli reporter Kemal Özer's trial is adjourned until 27 March. A verdict is expected in the next hearing.

Seven are sentenced, all defendants are released in the Gün Publishing House trial

In the trial where the owner and employees of Gün Publishing House faced terror-related charges, 2 people received sentences for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization,” and 5 people received sentences for “membership in a terrorist organization" while the court released all defendants who have been tried whilst in detention for the past year.

The court rules for the continuation of journalist Mehmet Gündem’s trial

İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court ruled for the continuation of journalist Mehmet Gündem’s detention, who has been in pre-trial detention on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges for the past 500 days. Ruling that necessary letters shall to be written for the submission of an expert report regarding the investigation of digital materials, the court adjourned the trial until 8 May, 11:30 AM.

Sözcü daily trial is adjourned until 18 April

The trial where nine Sözcü daily  employees including the newspaper’s owner Burak Akbay and Editor-in-Chief Metin Yılmaz face “founding and managing a terrorist organization,” “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges resumed at the İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court following the decision to merge two separate Sözcü daily cases that were heard at the same court. The trial is adjourned until 18 April, 10:30 AM.