On the fifth day of the trials against Turkey’s opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, court in İstanbul gave the verdict on the 12 defendants – including chief editor of the opposition daily, its journalists, lawyers, and executives – who have been tried under arrest.
The court decided for continuation of arrest of 5 of the total of 19 defendants: chief editor Murat Sabuncu; journalists Kadri Gürsel and Ahmet Şık; executive board member Akın Atalay, and, Kemal Aydoğdu, an individual not affiliated with Cumhuriyet but tried in the case over accusation of being the holder of the Twitter account named as Jeansbiri.
Member of the executive board of Cumhuriyet Foundation Önder Çelik, columnist Hakan Kara, ombudsman Güray Öz, lawyer Mustafa Kemal Güngör, chief editor of supplement on books Turhan Günay, lawyer and executive board member Bülent Utku, and cartoonist Musa Kart have been ordered to be released. Except for Turhan Günay, all released journalists and professionals will be free with a condition of legal control.
Prosecutor Hacı Hasan Bölükbaşı has sought a criminal complaint to be filed against journalist Ahmet Şık over his statements given as part of his testimony.
The case against the country's one of the oldest newspapers involves 19 people who have been tried over 'support to terror'. Statements written in op-ed pieces; tweet posts; contact with individuals who are now alleged to be linked to coup plot of 2016; and, being contacted by users of ByLock App - the smart phone application alleged to have been used by the group claimed to have plotted the coup - are presented in the indictment as the evidence for the support of the journalists, lawyers, and executives to terror.
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