Kemal Özer, the arrested Dersim reporter of Evrensel newspaper, had his third hearing at the Tunceli 1st Heavy Penal Court today (October 24).
The court board has ruled that the arrest of Kemal Özer shall continue. His next hearing will be held on December 28, 2018.
Özer: I was there for news follow-up
As reported by Evrensel newspaper; demanding his release from prison, Kemal Özer said in his statement of defense:
"I went to the Pamuk Village in the district of Hozat for news follow-up. I was there to report the insoluble problems of villagers with sewage system and the devastation of more than one cemetery in the village by treasure hunters.
"However, I was threatened with death by armed people in the region."
Attorney Yıldırım: There is no suspicion of escape
Attorney Barış Yıldırım stated that the incident, which caused Özer to be arrested, took place on August 29, 2017. Emphasizing that Özer was taken into custody five days after the incident, Yıldırım claimed that there is no suspicion of escape for his client.
Reminding that Kemal Özer was also exempted from military service due to his health problems, Yıldırım said that he also has problems with his stomach and, therefore, "he will have difficulties with nourishment under heavy prison conditions."
The court board has rejected the requests of release submitted by Kemal Özer and his Barış Yıldırım and ruled that his detention shall continue.
The board has also ruled that Cemil Güler, who has been tried as part of the same lawsuit, shall be released as per the effective repentance law.
Kemal Özer was stopped by the police at a search point on the Ovacık-Dersim road in the predominantly Kurdish province of Dersim in eastern Turkey on September 4, 2017.
Charged with "membership of a terrorist organization", Özer was taken into custody and his seven-day detention was extended for seven more days.
Özer was arrested on charge of "being a member of a terrorist organization" on September 15, 2017. (TP/SD)
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