Hayko Bağdat - “Insulting the President” Trial

Office of Secretary General of the Presidency filed a complaint against the speech Bağdat gave on September 1, 2015 at Bugün TV, which was later she down, to the Press Related Crimes Investigation Bureau of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Secretariat claimed that Bağdat “had insulted President Tayyip Erdoğan”. Bağdat, had voiced his criticisms on the current political agenda.

According to that, the prosecution launched an investigation against Bağdat.

According to the indictment, Bağdat, on the statement he gave during the investigation process, had said “he had never aimed to insult the President, had made harsh criticisms from time to time, but that was not a crime and he denied all of the accusations”.

The indictment against Bağdat was completed on October 21, 2016. President Tayyip Erdoğan was the “complainant” of the indictment.

The indictment based the accusation of “insulting the President” on Bağdat’s criticising words against President Tayyip Erdoğan, on September 1, 2015, at Bugün TV, which was later shut down by a State of Emergency Decree-Law.

Bağdat’s words were put in the indictment as follows:

“…we are facing a administrator who applies enemy law on his citizens”, “…we are facing an administration which attempts to build oppression and fear within the public”, “You did not make sure that the responsible public officials on the mass murder cases, so that no one ever does it again, you covered the Dink murder, you covered all the all the blood-covered events that occurred during this term”, “How much of your own state you can invade, how many public offices you are going to silence , how many more people”, “you tore the constitution up and burned it to the ground”, “Erdoğan said just that to our coworkers through prisons and arrests, he said we will send them to jail and he put himself in the position of a judge again. He keeps criticising the “National Chief” but we are now facing the biggest National Chief of this country history. He made us miss İnönü, he keeps on talking about him (İnönü) but we have not seen a bigger wannabe National Chief than him.”

The indictment claimed that Bağdat’s words had “crossed the lines of criticism” and “aimed to belittle Mr. President”.

The indictment accused Bağdat of “insulting the President” according to the article 299/1 of Turkish Penal Code. He was requested to be sentenced to, from one to four years of imprisonment. However the indictment that the crime was committed “through media”. Therefore the requested sentence was requested to be increased by a sixth, according to the article 299/2 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Bağdat, in total, was requested to be sentenced to, from one year two months to four years eight months of imprisonment for “publicly insulting the President”

Journalist Hayko Bağdat’s trial started at Istanbul 51st Criminal Court of First Insance.

The trial is set to continue on February 2, 2021.



Hayko Bağdat

Contact: pressinarrest@gmail.com

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