After the Court of Cassation has overturned the aggravated life sentences of Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak, the court has ruled that Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak shall be released and Mehmet Altan shall be acquitted.
After the Court of Cassation has reversed the verdicts of aggravated life imprisonment given for them, journalist and writer Ahmet Altan, his brother Prof. Mehmet Altan and journalist Nazli Ilicak stood before the judge for the second time today (November 4).
Announcing its verdict, the court has ruled that Ahmet Altan shall be sentenced to 10 years, 6 months in prison on charge of "knowingly aiding the organization as a non-member" and Nazli Ilicak shall be sentenced to 8 years, 9 months in prison on the same charge. Considering the nature of the crime and the time that they have already served in prison, the court has ruled that Altan and Ilicak shall be released on probation.
The court has also ruled that Mehmet Altan shall be acquitted on the ground that evidence could not be obtained.
Prosecutor demanded prison sentence
It was indicated in today's hearing that the prosecutor presented the opinion as to the accusations between the hearings.
The prosecutor demanded that arrested defendants Tugrul Ozsengul, Fevzi Yazici and Yakup Simsek be each sentenced to 7.5 to 15 years in prison on charge of "membership of an armed terrorist organization".
The prosecutor also demanded that defendants Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak be each sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for "knowingly and willingly aiding an armed terrorist organization as non-members". The prosecutor requested acquittal for Mehmet Altan.
They were arrested in 2016
Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan were taken into custody on September 1, 2016 as part of the investigation launched into July 15 coup attempt.
While Mehmet Altan was arrested on September 22, 2016, Ahmet Altan was released. However, one day later, Ahmet Altan was also arrested on charges of "being members of an armed terrorist organization and attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey or to prevent it from performing its duty".
Nazli Ilicak was also arrested together with 16 journalists as part of an operation against Gulen Community on July 30, 2016.
While Mehmet Altan was released on June 27, 2018, Nazli Ilicak and Ahmet Altan have been behind bars since they were arrested.
On February 16, 2018, the Istanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court sentenced six defendants including Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak to aggravated life imprisonment on charge of "attempting to abolish the order foreseen by the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey or to replace this order by another one or to prevent the de facto enforcement of this order".
The 2nd Penal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice, the court of appeal, found this verdict to be in compliance with the law. After an appeal was lodged against this verdict as well, the file was referred to the 16th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation. The Court reversed the aggravated life sentences given to six defendants for "violating the Constitution".
Concluding that the actions of Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak did not constitute the offense of "violating the Constitution", but that of "knowingly and willingly aiding the terrorist organization", the 16th Penal Chamber indicated that their committal of the crime of "violating the Constitution" could not be proven.
Regarding Mehmet Altan, who was released on probation after the Constitutional Court ruled that his "personal freedom and safety was violated", the 16th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation demanded that Mehmet Altan be released as there was not sufficient and credible evidence.
The supreme court concluded that the actions of defendants Sukru Tugrul Ozsengul, Fevzi Yazici and Yakup Simsek did not constitute the crime of "attempting to abolish the Constitutional order", but "membership of a terrorist organization". Accordingly, the 16th Penal Chamber rejected the requests for release of five defendants.
Source: English Bianet