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The fourth hearing of 19 people, nine of whom have been arrested, including journalist Ziya Ataman, the former reporter of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), which was closed as per a Statutory Decree, was held at the Şırnak 1st Heavy Penal Court today (October 26).
While journalist Ataman and the other imprisoned defendants attended the hearing via Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS), the other defendants did not appear before the judge.
The relatives of the arrested defendants and journalists were not allowed into the courtroom on the alleged ground of its insufficient capacity. Ataman and his attorneys repeated their previous defense and demanded release.
The court board has ruled that the arrest of journalist Ziya Ataman shall continue. The next hearing of the case will be held on January 17, 2019.
Journalist Ataman, who has been arrested since April 12, 2016, has been facing charges of "disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state", "wilful murder of a public officer due to his/ her duty", "attempted wilful murder of a public officer due to his/ her duty" and "attempted wilful murder".
Ziya Ataman, who was an intern correspondent at the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), was taken into custody in Turkey's eastern province of Van. Ataman, who was detained during news follow-up in Kurubaş Neighborhood in the district of Edremit in Van, was arrested on April 11, 2016.
The indictment against Ataman was issued in December 2017, 20 months after his arrest. Ataman had his first hearing in March 2018. Upon a technical fault that occured in the Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS), the journalist could make a defense for only a few minutes at his second hearing.
The third hearing of Ataman was held on August 1, 2018. The court board ruled that the arrest of Ataman shall continue.(EMK/SD)
* Photograph: Mezopotamya Agency
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