CUMHURİYET TRIAL: Ahmet Şık, Murat Sabuncu Releaed

What happened? 

On October 31, 2016, İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office began investigating Cumhuriyet Foundation executives on charges of “Making publications that justify July 15 coup attempt” and “committing crime for PKK/KCK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party/Kurdistan Communities Union) and FETÖ/PDY (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Organization) as non members”.

The investigation was initially launched by prosecutor Murat İnam who was at the same time a suspect in the trial of “FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization)”.

Five hearings have been held in the trial so far. The next hearing will be on March 9, 2018.

1st hearing: Interim Judgement in 1st Hearing: 7 Released, 5 Remain in Jail

2nd hearing: Interim Decision in 2nd Hearing: Continuation of Detention on Remand

3rd hearing: Interim Judgement on 3rd Hearing: Gürsel Released

4th hearing: No Release in Cumhuriyet Trial

5th hearing: 5th Hearing in Cumhuriyet Trial: Continuation of Pre-trial Detention

Defendants of Cumhuriyet Trial and their current situations

In detention pending trial:Cumhuriyet Daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, Columnist Kadri Gürsel, President of the Executive Board Attorney Akın Atalay, Cumhuriyet daily accounting personnel Emre İper, reporter Ahmet Şık and Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu being charged dut to his tweets.

Released on first four hearings:Cumhuriyet daily ombudsperson Güray Öz, cartoonist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Attorney Bülent Utku, columnist Hakan Kara, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Önder Çelik, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günay

Released on probation: Cumhuriyet daily’s former Editor-in-Chief and columnist Aydın Engin, columnist Hikmet Çetinkaya.

No Confidentiality order: Cumhuriyet daily’s former Accounting Manager Bülent Yener, and Accounting Manager Günseli Özaltay, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board President Orhan Erinç.

Detention order: Cumhuriyet daily’s former Editor-in-Chief, columnist Can Dündar, Cumhuriyet daily’s former employee İlhan Tanır.

All defendants except Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu are (former) employees or executives of Cumhuriyet daily.

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”.