Özgür Gündem main trial: Court ruled to keep Sancılı in prison

10 October 2018
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Berfin Azdal, İstanbul - Hearing of the now-shuttered Özgür Gündem newspaper writers and editorial consultants was held at İstanbul 23. High Criminal Court. Defendants Necmiye Alpay, Eren Keskin, and İnan Kızılkaya attended the hearing in person, whereas the only defendant in pre-trial detention, Kemal Sancılı joined the hearing via the judicial conferencing system, SEGBİS. The court lifted Eren Keskin's ban on leaving the country and ruled to keep journalist Kemal Sancılı in detention.

Eren Keskin: This proceeding violates international conventions

Editorial consultants of the newspaper Bilge Aykut, Filiz Koçali, Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay, Ragıp Zarakolu, Editor-in-Chief Zana (Bilir) Kaya, Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya, writer Eren Keskin, and grant holder Kemal Sancılı are accused of “disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state” and “membership in a terrorist organization”. Defendant Eren Keskin remarked that the proceeding is against the constitution and international conventions that Turkey is a party to, she added: “Our right to freedom of expression is violated, I am being tried because of a text which I am not the author of.”

Defense lawyer Erdal Doğan requested the return of the digital materials which were added to the case file after the indictment was already prepared.

Hearing was adjourned until 17 January

Prosecutor Aydın Boztaş claimed that judicial control over defendant Kemal Sancılı would not be sufficient due to his 'escape risk' and requested the continuation of detention of Sancılı. Boztaş also requested the approval of the lifting of the judicial control over Eren Keskin. The court ruled to keep Kemal Sancılı in detention, lifted Eren Keskin's ban on leaving the country and accepted Doğan's request to return the digital materials that were seized. Hearing was adjourned until 17 January 2019.