Prosecutor requests punishment of journalist Kobulan

26 December 2018

First hearing of MA reporter Yasin Kobulan, charged with ‘spreading terrorist propaganda’ was held today. Prosecutor requested the punishment of Kobulan, court adjourned the hearing until 8 March.

Mesopotamia News Agency (MA) reporter Yasin Kobulan’s first hearing was held today at İstanbul 30. High Criminal Court. Kobulan’s lawyers Sercan Korkmaz and Özcan Kılıç were present in the hearing, which started with identity checks.

In his defense Kobulan said, "The investigation was initiated after the Diyarbakır Gendarmerie Regional Commander filed a complaint against us. The case was sent to İstanbul, after Diyarbakır Public Prosecution Office decided that the case was out of its jurisdiction. The aforementioned news report is a compilation of various news reports that were published in different media outlets. When I was called to depose at the police station, my social media accounts were reviewed, and I was asked whether I was the one that posted them. I shared those news reports and posting news stories fall within the scope of my job as a journalist. I reject the alleged crime."

Kobulan’s lawyers noted that they agree with his defense statement and added that the investigation was not initiated or carried on in accordance with the procedure designated in the Law of Criminal Procedure (CMK). Lawyer Kılıç remarked that his client’s social media posts consisted of various news reports which were not subjected to criminal investigation and noted they fell within the scope of journalism.

After the defense statements of the lawyers, the hearing prosecutor submitted his opinion and requested the punishment of Kobulan on ‘spreading terrorist propaganda’ charges. Kobulan’s lawyers requested extra time to prepare their statements against the prosecutor’s opinion. The panel of judges granted the defense extra time and adjourned the hearing until 8 March.