Click to read the article in Turkish
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals has announced its opinion as to the Cumhuriyet newspaper case.
After the 3rd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld the verdict on Cumhuriyet case on February 19, the attorneys of the newspaper appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals on February 27.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals has requested that Cumhuriyet Foundation executives and senior executives of the newspaper be acquitted of offences charged.
In the letter of notification issued by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, it has been requested that the prison sentences of Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay, former Executive Board Chair Orhan Erinç, CEditor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, Executive Board member and columnist Hikmet Çetinkaya and columnist Aydın Engin be reversed. The Prosecutor’s Office has requested their acquittal.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also indicated that the verdicts on Kadri Gürsel, Bülent Utku, Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Önder Çelik and Güray Öz be reversed.
It has also been requested by the Supreme Court of Appeals that Yunus Emre İper’s prison sentence of 3 years, 1 month and 15 days and Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu’s prison sentence of 10 years be upheld.
It has been stated that Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) İstanbul MP Ahmet Şık’s prison sentence of 7 years, 6 months for “aiding the organization” be reversed and Şık be tried on charges of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and “openly degrading the institutions and organs of the state”.
What was the verdict?
There were 20 defendants in the Cumhuriyet newspaper case. On April 25, 2018, the İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court announced its verdict and sentenced 15 people to a total of 81 years, 45 days in prison. While three of the defendants were acquitted, the case files of Can Dündar and İlhan Tanır were separated from the others.
According to the verdict of the court:
*Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay was acquitted of “malpractice” and sentenced to 7 years 3 months and 15 days in prison on the charge of “aiding an illegal organization”. Atalay was released.
*Orhan Erinç was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months, Murat Sabuncu to 7 years and 6 months, Kadri Gürsel to 2 years and 6 months, Güray Öz to 3 years and 9 months, Musa Kart to 3 years and 9 months, Aydın Engin to 7 years and 6 months, Hikmet Çetinkaya to 6 years and 3 months, Ahmet Şık to 7 years and 6 months, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Hakan Kara and Önder Çelik each to 3 years and 9 months, Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu to 10 years, Emre İper to 3 years 1 month and 15 days in prison on charge of “aiding a terrorist organization”. Bülent Utku was acquitted of “malpractice” and sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in prison on charge of “aiding and propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.
*Turhan Günay, Bülent Yener and Günseli Özaltay were acquitted.
*All defendants who were pending trial without arrest were released on probation.
*Files of Can Dündar and İlhan Tanır were separated.