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Witnesses gave deposition in the second hearing of Sözcü trial today (November 8). Declaring its interim decision following the depositions, the court ruled release of Gökmen Ulu, who was the only defendant pending trial jailed, with a travel ban.
Sözcü daily newspaper owner Burak Akbay, its correspondent to İzmir Bekir Gökmen, its former staff in charge of website Mediha Olgun and Financial Affairs Director Yonca Yücekaleli have been tried.
All defendants except Akbay attended the hearing. There is a detention warrant for Akbay.
In the indictment prepared by the prosecutor of Cumhuriyet trial, Akbay is being charged with "conducting an armed terrorist organization", "propagandizing for an armed terrorist organization" and face up to 28 years in prison.
Defendants Olgun, Ulu and Yücekaleli are being charged with "knowingly aiding an armed terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure" and face up to 15 years in prison.
An operation was launched into Sözcü daily newspaper on May 19, 2016. Detention warrant was issued for Burak Akbay, Mediha Olgun, Bekir Gökmen Ulu and Yonca Yücekaleli as part of the "Fethullahist Terror Organization/Parallel State Organization".
Olgun was released on probation on September 22.
Prepared by Public Prosecutor Asım Ekren, the 73-page indictment includes charge of "managing armed terror organization", "propagandizing for an armed terror organization", and "knowingly aiding an armed terrorist organization without being a part member of its hierarchical structure" against the Sözcü staff.
A crossword puzzle dated January 1, 2016 is included in the indictment as the reason for the investigation.
The aforementioned headline reads "Your fortune of 2016" and the deck reads "The three names you see in the view will be in your lives this year as well" and the image of "Recep", "Tayyip" and "Erdoğan" words are used more than once in the crossword puzzle.
The indictment says "...since the words "TAYYİPİÇ (TAYYİBASTARD), ÖLRECEP (DIERECEP), YEZIT (Yazîd)* were presented explicitly..."
News reports are counted as an offense
Prosecutor Ekren regarded the article titled "Sözcü found Erdoğan" by Gökmen Ulu dated July 15, 2016 as an "evidence" and claimed that "the article facilitates execution of the crime".
Prosecutor Ekren also evaluated that "Sözcü Newspaper officials reached the information in question externally and continuously published the information as it is real".
Among the witnesses in the indictment are Ersoy Dede, Cem Küçük, Fehmi Koru and Hüseyin Gülerce.
* Yazīd ibn Mu'āwiya commonly known as Yazid I, was the second caliph of the Umayyad caliphate and killed Hussein-ibn-Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, over a fight for caliphate. (AS/TK)
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