An Istanbul court continued the case against two journalists tried for revealing an unlawful general authorization of surveillance, allowing the police, the gendarmerie and the national intelligence service to pursue all electronic communication between citizens.
Daily Milliyet's Gokcer Tahincioglu and Vatan newspaper's Kemal Goktas are accused of "acquiring classified information" and "rendering public officers working in counter terrorism as targets". Two journalists face up to three years imprisonment if convicted.
Tahincioglu testified in court this morning and reminded the judges that the Ankara court's authorization in question has already been outdated when their news articles appeared.
"Ministry of Justice has approved this fact. Court orders can't be classified and general surveillance authorizations are a violation of fundamental human rights. The Supreme Court of Appeals and the Minister of Justice himself declared those points."
The court postponed the case to March 31st and allowed the prosecution to prepare its judgment on merits.
Following the articles on June 2008, laws concerning electronic surveillance by security forces have been amended and more strict guidelines have been introduced.
Goktas and Tahincioglu were awarded the Freedom of Press award for these articles by the Turkish Association of Journalists. (EÖ/AGÜ)
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