An investigation was launched against Daily Yolculuk reporter Buse Söğütlü for her tweets regarding the judge of Istanbul 37th Assize Court.
Within the scope of the investigation, Söğütlü appeared at the court and attempted to give a statement twice. However, her statement was not taken due to “prosecutor being away from his desk”.
She was taken into custody on November 19th, 2019 when police executed the capture warrant issued against her, which was revealed during a Criminal Record Check (GBT), since her statement was not taken previously. She was taken to Istanbul Taksim Police Station. She was detained there for two days. After her statement was taken, she was released.
The indictment against Daily Yolculuk website reporter Buse Söğütlü, was completed and presented to the court on March 23rd, 2020. Subject matter, was Söğütlü’s post regarding the judge of Istanbul 37th Assize Court. Said post was about the verdicts of some cases that the judge oversaw. The judge was mentioned as “victim” in the indictment.
The accusation was based on Söğütlü’s tweet, quoting an article published at Daily Yolculuk, where she works, and saying “If Hitler came out of his grave and (…) sat in his chair, more or less, he would use the same phrases as well. Professional ethics and all aside; one should carry the weight of the chair he is sitting in.”.
Söğütlü, through this post, was claimed to have “put aforementioned judge in target of armed terrorist organisation DHKP-C and other marginal leftist organisations”.
The indictment accused Söğütlü of “identifying officials on anti-terror duties as targets” according to the article 6/1 of the Anti-Terror Law and “membership of armed terrorist organisation” according to the article 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code. Within this scope she was requested to be sentenced to, from six years to 13 years of imprisonment.
The trial against Buse Söğütlü, a reporter with the Gazete Yolculuk news web site, began on October 14th, 2020 at İstanbul 33. High Criminal Court. Söğütlü attended the hearing with her lawyer Erman Öztürk. The president of the court did not allow observers into the courtroom on the pretext of the measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
Söğütlü delivered her defense speech at the first hearing. She stated that the news story fell within the scope of the freedom of thought and expression, and did not constitute a crime. Söğütlü demanded her acquittal. Söğütlü’s lawyer Erhan Öztürk also demanded her acquittal and stated that the allegations did not correspond to a crime.
The panel of judges ruled to forward the file to the prosecutor’s office for drafting the judicial opinion as to the accusations.
The trial has been adjourned until the second hearing on December 30th, 2020.
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