The seventh trial has been filed with Radikal newspaper reporter İsmail Saymaz. Once more, Saymaz stands accused of "violating the secrecy of an investigation" because of an article published in Radikal on 19 March 2008 entitled "The generals in their summer residences agree that Balbay is the left-wing leader". Saymaz is now facing imprisonment of up to 60 years in total.
Journalist Mustafa Balbay is the Ankara correspondent of Cumhuriyet newspaper. He was arrested on 5 March 2009 in the context of the Ergenekon investigation and has been detained ever since. The ultra-nationalist Ergenekon terror organization is charged with plotting to overthrow the government.
The journalist is in the dock because of publishing Ergenekon case defendant Engin Aydın's statement to the prosecutor. According to Aydın, former TRT General Manager Yücel Yener called him to inform him that a group of people, among them generals and admirals, agreed on detained journalist Balbay to impute the leadership on him.
Cihaner, Şahin, Bozkurt, Balbay...trials filed for whoever he writes about!
Engin had stated that Balbay was going to found a new political party. The existing Independent Republic Party was mentioned to join, or it was said to initiate a movement within the Republican People's Party, Engin said in his statement.
In the seven cases filed against Saymaz, he is facing prison sentence of up to 58.5 years in total.
The first hearing of latest trial was held on 3 June at the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance of Bakırköy (Asian side of Istanbul) upon Public Prosecutor Özkan Koç's complaint according to article 285 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) (Violations of Communications). The allegations were initially drawn against Radikal editor-in-chief Hasan Çakkalkurt and subsequently directed to Saymaz due to the "responsibility for the news item".
Previously, a further six trials have been filed against Saymaz on the grounds of his news about the interrogations of İlhan Cihaner, detained Chief Public Prosecutor of Erzincan (north-eastern Anatolia), and İbrahim Şahin, former Deputy Head of the Special Operations Department.
The cases were opened on 8, 13, 15, 16 and 21 April respectively. The journalist is facing imprisonment of up to 54 years in total in these trials under charges of "attempting to influence a fair trial" and "violating the secrecy of an investigation" according to articles 285 and 288 (attempt at affecting a fair judicial process) of the TCK.
All cases were launched at the Bakırköy 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Saymaz is summoned to court for 23 June related to the allegations based on the article entitled "What Prosecutor Cihaner was asked" published in Radikal newspaper on 18 February 2010. On 15 July, he will be at court for his news item "Assassination with a tick, coup of the tea vendors" from 12 February 2010; he will appear at court on 21 July by reason of his articles "Cihaner: I do not know Çiçek, I did not see him - Ciçek: I do not know anybody in Erzincan" and "I do not know Çiçek, that is your set up" published on 20 February. For his article "Did you meet Dursun Çiçek?" from 22 February Saymaz will have to attend a hearing on 20 September.
Another reason for the prosecution of Saymaz was the article entitled "The most reckless state of Ergenekon is in Erzincan" related to the defence of former İliç Public Prosecutor Bayram Bozkurt which was sent to the Ministry of Justice. Bozkurt is tried at the Erzincan High Criminal Court under allegations of "misconduct in office".
Prosecutors Remzi Yaşar Kızılhan and Pircan Barut Emre prepared the indictments against Saymaz. The journalist told bianet that another trial has been launched against him based on his article entitled "Is Berk the leader of the organization?" published on 1 March. (EÖ/VK)
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