Agos newspaper owner Serkis Seropyan and editor Aris Nalci have been on trial at the Sisli 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance for “attempting to influence the judiciary.” Now the newspapers’ lawyers have argued that the Sisli court cannot be independent or neutral and have demanded a different court.
Two judges involved in previous sentence
Lawyer Fethiye Cetin said that judges Metin Aydin and Hakki Yalcinkaya were part of the court which sentenced former editor-in-chief Arat Dink and Seropyan under Article 301 in a previous case.
“These two judges are against Nalci and Seropyan…The defendants in this case do not believe in the neutrality of this court or the judges Aydin and Yalcinkaya. The judges are not neutral in their perspectives on the Agos newspaper, its employees or its Armenian employees.”
As an example of their bias, Cetin cited the previous sentence handed out to Arat Dink and Seropyan on 11 July 2007. They were described as “persons acting to get even with the Turkish Republic…destructive and aimed at changing national borders…including terrorism…aiming at geographical changes…”
After the court listened to the demand, it did not withdraw from the case, so the Chief Public Prosecutor decided to send the file to the Istanbul Duty Heavy Penal Court for a decision.
Uras: "Discrimination against Agos"
Ufuk Uras, MP for Istanbul and chair of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), said at the end of the hearing. “The case is a typical sign of the discrimination against Agos. They are still defending the bans they have in their heads. We are in the era of the Turkish Republic, not of the Ottoman Empire. We have to leave Agos and our Armenian citizens in peace.”
Uras said he would take part in a campaign entitled, “Turkey is looking for judges and prosecutors.”
Arat Dink and Serkis Seropyan had been sentenced under Article 301 for republishing Hrant Dink’s comments in which he spoke about an “Armenian genocide. Other newspapers who also reported on Hrant Dink’s utterances were not tried.
Facing 4.5 years imprisonment
The current trial was opened when an article entitled “Intelligent Wood”, published on 9 November 2007, criticised the sentencing of Arat Dink and Seropyan, was said to be an attempt at influencing the judiciary, a crime defined by Article 288 of the Turkish Penal Code.
The journalists, who have more than 10 lawyers working for their defense, are facing up to 4.5 years imprisonment. (EÖ/TK/AG)
Related bianet News
Ten Thousand Gathered in Istanbul in Memory of Hrant Dink 19 January 2008On the first anniversary of the murder of journalist Hrant Dink, more than ...
Arat Dink and Seropyan Sentenced 07 November 2007Agos editor-in-chief Arat Dink and licence holder Serkis Seropyan have been given a ...
Article 19 Expresses Concern International Reaction to Agos Sentence 17 October 2007The sentencing of Arat Dink and Serkis Seropyan, journalists of the Turkish-Armenian newspaper ...
Suspended Sentence for Threatening Agos Newspaper 10 October 2007A 19-year old man has been given a two-year suspended sentence for sending ...
Agos Lawyers Demand Judges Withdrawal 19 July 2007Lawyers for the journalists from the Agos newspaper are calling for the prosecutor ...
Agos and Akcam to Pay Compensation 30 January 2007An Ankara civil court of first instance has accepted part of the suit ...
New Charges Against Agos Newspaper 03 February 2006A new lawsuit has been opened against Journalists Hrant Dink and Aydin Engin, ...
Most Read Today
DİHA Correspondent Nazım Daştan Arrested 12 February 2016
Demirtaş: How Many Killed in Cizre in 20 Days Unknown 12 February 2016
2 Buildings Collapse in Beyoğlu 12 February 2016