Nagehan Alçı - “Publicy Insulting the Public Official on with an Audio, Written or Video Message” Trial

Journalist Nagehan Alçı’s article “Minister of Justice’s Reaction to That Disgraceful Decision” was published on June 15, 2018 on HaberTurk Daily and its web site.

Alçı, in her article, had mentioned a judge on duty in Istanbul. Alçı had claimed that “the judge, with a decision he gave, had caused the murder of journalist Hrant Dink”.

The judge, who was mentioned in the article, filed an official complaint against Alçı, on May 28, 2020, about two years after the original publishing date of the article. The judge, in his complaint letter claimed that “the article contained insult and calumny, and put him on target for terrorist organisations”.

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, due to the complaint, launched an investigation against Alçı. Alçı, through her article, was accused of “insulting” the mentioned judge.

The indictment against Alçı was completed by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s on July 6, 2020.

The judge who was mentioned in the article, in his complaint letter, claimed that Alçı “had made allegations saying that he had caused Hrant Dink’s murder, however he was working as a judge of an enforcement court in Malatya at the time when Hrant Dink was murdered in Istanbul”. Judge, in the letter, claimed that “the article contained insult and calumny, and put him on target for terrorist organisations”.

The indicment argued that the expressions in Alçı’s article “were in a manner to damage judge’s pride and reputation”.

The indictment accused Alçı of “insult through an audio, text or visual message”. She was requested to be sentenced to, from three months to two years of imprisonment according to the article 125/2 of the Turkish Penal Code.

The indictment claimed that the crime of “insult” was commited “due to the public duty of a public official”. According to that the requested sentence against Alçı was requested to be increased according to the subsection (a) of the third paragraph of the article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. According to which Alçı was requested to be sentenced to, from one year to two years of imprisonment.

The indictment then claimed that Alçı had committed the crime of “insult”, “publicly”. Therefore the already-requested-to-be-increased sentence was once again requested to be increased by a sixth according to the fourth paragraph of the article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Therefore, in total, Alçı was requested to be sentenced to, from one year two months to two years four months of imprisonment.

The trial of Nagehan Alçı, a columnist for HaberTürk’s news web site, began with the first hearing at Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, on December 3rd, 2020. Alçı did not attend. Alçı was represented in the courtroom by her lawyer Selim Erbağcı. The judge mentioned in Alçı’s article, who had filed a complaint about her, attended the hearing with his lawyer Yeşim Gün.

The complainant judge remarked, “Due to my duty as a judge, the defendant has equated me to those judges who reach disgusting verdicts as they have no respect for human rights, and protect torturers. Although I worked at Malatya Enforcement Court on the date Hrant Dink was murdered, I had been previously targeted by pro-FETÖ press outlets. I accidentally found out in a search on the internet, that the defendant insulted me with the same motivation. Her insults are similar to those of FETÖ’s”.

Yalçınkaya said, “My conscience cannot accept that such accusations be leveled in the press and in courts. After I pass away, I do not want anyone to describe me as one of the killers of Hrant Dink.” He added that he read extensively on Armenian history: “I read about Armenian history from various sources. When I worked at Diyarbakır State Security Court, I closely examined the history of the Mesopotamian peoples. I have nothing against the Armenian nation. I request that the defendant receive a sentence from the upper limit.”

The judge’s lawyer Yeşim Gün said, ” as everyone knows, after a newspaper article, prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was martyred. There is no guarantee that my client will not suffer a similar fate”. Claiming that Alçı targeted her client with the article in question, Gün said “She has committed the crime of insult, and since the crime has been committed via the media, we request that the defendant receive a sentence from the upper limit.” Lawyer Gün also stated that they wanted to participate in the legal proceedings.

The complainant judge said that “the prosecutor’s office protects the defendant.” The court requested that Nagehan Alçı be brought to the next hearing, by force if necessary.

Alçı’s lawyer Selim Erbağcı rejected the charges, and argued that the article in question fell within the scope of the freedom of press and expression. Erbağcı requested that Alçı be acquitted. He added that Alçı will attend the next hearing.

The court adjourned the hearing to receive the defense of journalist Nagehan Alçı.

The trial was adjourned until the second hearing on February 11th, 2021.

Documents

Indictment

Journalists
Nagehan Alçı

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