Verdict has been announced in trial of Cumhuriyet Newspaper correspondent Canan Coşkun, who is charge with “targetting officers who took charge in fight against terrorism”.
In the third hearing of the trial held at İstanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court, the court sentenced Coşkun to 2 years and 3 months in prison. The file will be seen at court of appeal.
The lawsuit was broguht against due to the coverage of prosecution questioning of the detainees, who were taken into custody as part of the investigation launched against the lawyers of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who staged protests to be reinstated to their jobs.
On July 10, in the second hearing, the prosecutor demanded that Coşkun be tried as per Anti-Terror Law 6/1 and be sentenced to up to 3 years in jail.
"I didn't commit a crime, I demand my acquittal"
In today's trial, during her defense Canan Coşkun stated:
"I have been a judicial reporter for the Cumhuriyet newspaper since 2013 and followed important cases in the courthouse.
"Hrant Dink case, known as the actual one by the media and Erhan Tuncel and Ogün Samast's statements having news value have driven us to publish and announce them in the newspapers and news sites as a result of their being witness acknowledgement.
"That is not the first news I have written about a limited investigation and similarly, there were lots of news reports in the media.
"On the Internet, as there wasn't any word about Berk Ercan's family Berk Ercan's photograph was not published either. There was no mention of Berk Ercan's effective repentance provisions in the online news. Honestly, it is impossible for me to know it. I demand an acquittal decision as I didn't commit a crime."
Lawyer Utku: No crime factors
In the statement on the prosecutor's opinion Coşkun's lawyer Bulent Utku stated that the person "targeted" was not a public servant or "person in charge of counterterrorism".
Barrister Utku continued as following:
"My client reported that although there is not a single word about Berk Ercan's family, it is stated in the opinion that 'Berk Ercan's family is targeted in the news'.
"It was indicated that Berk Ercan was the subject of witness testimony in the essay about the essence at first and in the later sections of the opinion, the title "effective regrets" was mentioned. Berk Ercan's role in the investigation is very important in terms of not forming a crime at first where effective regret and testimony provisions have been arranged separately.
"The provisions of the article 43 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and that of the article 221 of the Turkish Penal Code about the effective remorse have been regulated. However, those witnesses or active regrets having taken part in the fight against terrorism mentioned in Article 6/1 of the Turkish Penal Code were not involved.
"Berk Ercan is not a public official (accusation directed at Coskun), who is public official has been defined at the 6th article of TCC. As Berk Ercan is not a civil servant, making his news by my client does not constitue a crime.
However if it is Anadolu news agency, it is found acceptable"
Coşkun's lawyer, Abbas Yalçın, also reminded the old news about Berk Ercan published in the press:
"The Anadolu news agency had reported similar news too as that of my client, and even in this news, Berk Ercan's name was mentioned.
"When Berk Ercan was covered by the Cumhuriyet Newspaper, he was the person in charge with fighting terrorism however it is seen as normal news when Anadolu Agency or other news agencies report something about him. ."
"No regrets" so no penalty discount
However, the court dismissed the acquittal demand of the lawyers, by deciding that "Coskun targeted him in the news for the organization and sentenced her to imprisonment for 2 years and 3 months.
The chairman of the tribunal Akin Gurlek also stated that "the negative attitudes and behaviors observed in the sentence of the sanction caused to decide on no discount in accordance with Article 62/1 of the TPC". (BK/HG/TK)
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