The third hearing in the trial of Asst. Prof. Dr. Esra Mungan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Meral Camcı, Asst. Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy standing trial for having signed the declaration of "We will not be a party to this crime" was held today (December 22).
In a previous hearing, the prosecution had made an application to the Ministry of Justice to change the pressed charges and make the defendants stand trial on charge of "denigrating the Turkish Nation, the State of the Turkish Republic or its institutions" in accordance with the Article 301.
The attorney of the defendants, Meriç Eyüboğlu noted that they demanded acquittal without having to wait for a response from the Ministry of Justice. The court has decided to wait for the response from the ministry. The next hearing will be held on March 30, at 9.40 a.m.
Attorney: There is no crime, we are waiting for acquittal
The academics are being tried on charge of "propagandizing for an [illegal] organization" before 13th Criminal Court of Justice of Istanbul Court in Çağlayan in accordance with the Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.
The prosecution had made an application to the Minister of Justice to change the pressed charges and make the defendants stand trial on charge of "denigrating the Turkish Nation, the State of the Turkish Republic or its institutions" in accordance with the Article 301. There was still no response from the Ministry of Justice in the third trial.
Taking the floor in the hearing which lasted approximately five minutes, Attorney Meriç Eyüboğlu said;
"There is no crime to talk about. Freedom of expression is the matter here. A text which demands peace and does not call for violence".
Eyüboğlu has argued that there was no crime regardless of based on which articles the charges were pressed and that they therefore demanded acquittal.
The court has decided to wait for the return of the file with a response from the Ministry of Justice and adjourned the hearing to a future date.
Academics and politicians from Turkey and abroad also attended the hearing including MPs from Brussels Andre du Bus, Simone Susskind and Fabian Maingain, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Hüda Kaya, and Thomas Berns from Brussels Free University. (BK/DG)
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