The third hearing in the Cumhuriyet daily trial in which one Twitter user under arrest and 18 executives, journalists and employees from Cumhuriyet daily 11 of whom are also arrested are standing trial is being held today (July 26) before İstanbul 27th High Criminal Court.
Arrested columnist Kadri Gürsel, caricaturist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Attorney Bülent Utku, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günay, columnist Güray Öz, attorney Akın Atalay, Cumhuriyet correspondent Ahmet Şık and Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu who is standing trial because of his Tweets as well as Orhan Erinç, Günseli Özaltay, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Aydın Engin and Bülent Yener who are standing trial withhout arrest are in the courtroom.
Arrested Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu did not attend the hearing.
Kadri Gürsel, Akın Atalay and Musa Kart pleaded on the first hearing of the trial held on July 24.
Murat Sabuncu, Bülent Utku, Güray Öz and Mustafa Kemal Güngör pleaded on the second hearing of the trial held on July 25.
Today's hearing has begun with the plea of Hakan Kara followed by Turhan Günay, Ahmet Şık, Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu, Bülent Yener and Günseli Özaltay.
Hakan Kara: "We want to practice journalism"
Hakan Kara said "I as a journalist who defends pluralistic, participatory democracy, secularism, the right to live in a healthy environment, equality of women and men, as well as fundamental rights and freedoms, deny all claims in this bill of indictment" and added:
"We want to practice journalism and express our thoughts freely in a democratic society".
Turhan Günay:"I have been under arrest for 267 days for four communication records"
Following Kara, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günay made his plea and said:
"A person who called me to a book fair, an invitor in Kayseri, a book author and an academic...Just because of these four communication records and as I was pointed at as an executive of the foundation, I have been arrested for 267 days".
Ahmet Şık: "My words are not a defence but an accusation"
"My words are not a defence or a statement but an accusation. This is all that I will say against an operation in which my journalistic practices are being tried to be shown as a crime" and added:
"I consider this an insult against journalism and the ethical values of my profession. Because journalism is not a crime".
Aydoğdu: "I am not Jeansbiri"
Aydoğdu claimed in the bill of indictment to be the owner of the Twitter account named "jeansbiri" said in his plea following Şık:
"It has been claimed that I had contact with a journalist named Adem Yavuzaslan in 2008. I got the number which I am currently using only in year 2010. So it is impossible that I have contacted him in 2008".
Yener: "It was determined that ByLock was not installed on İper's cell phone"
Holding his plea following Aydoğdu, Cumhuriyet former Accounting Manager Bülent Yener stated that he had not used the encrypted communication software ByLock claimed to be used by members of Gülen Movement nor could know whether this software was installed on others who called him and added
"Yusuf Emre İper coded as Y.E.İ in the indictment is an employee of Cumhuriyet daily and he is arrested. Based upon information provided by the attorneys of our newspaper, I know that ByLock is not installed on his cell phone.
"I don't know the other people and the callers, and it is not possible that I do".
Özaltay: "Editorial policy of the newspaper is within scope of secular, democratic principles"
Last, Cumhuriyet Accounting Manager Günseli Özaltay holding his plea said:
"Neither on legal basis nor on other grounds, in no newspaper or firm, the Accounting Manager is a person who accounts for the editorial policy or the management of the firm. Accounting department is an administrative department. I have no responsibility for the publication of the newspaper, nor for its headlines or the articles".
Panel of judges
İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court Panel of Judges Chair: Abdurrahman Orkun Dağ.
Panel member judges: Mehmet Arslan, Halit içdemir.
Prosecutor: Hacı Hasan Bölükbaşı.
Who faces how many years in prison on what charges?
Can Dündar, Mehmet Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Aydın Engin, Bülent Yener and Günseli Özaltay face from 7.5 to 15 years in prison each on charge of "aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member".
Akın Atalay, Mehmet Orhan Erinç and Önder Çelik face from 11.5 to 43 years in prison each on charges of "aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member" and "misconduct".
Bülent Utku, Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Hikmet Aslan Çetinkaya face from 9.5 to 29 years in prison each on charges of "aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member" and "misconduct".
Ahmet Şık faces from 7.5 to 15 years in prison each on charge of "aiding the armed terrorist organizations of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) as a non-member".
The names of those standing trial
Arrested: Kadri Gürsel, Akın Atalay, Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu, Bülent Utku, Hakan Karasinir, Murat Sabuncu, Ahmet Şık, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay.
Probation: Aydın Engin, Hikmet Çetinkaya.
Confidentiality order: Bülent Yener, Günseli Özaltay, Orhan Erinç.
Order issued to take forcibly to testify: Can Dündar, İlhan Tanır.
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