The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has decided to prioritize the case of the jailed journalists and executives of Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, stating that it will investigate the case “as soon as possible.”
Previously, the court had made the same decision about jailed Turkish journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Atilla Taş and Murat Aksoy.
The indictment into daily Cumhuriyet columnists and executives was completed on April 4, nearly five months after the investigation was launched, with the prosecutor seeking jail sentences for all 19 suspects.
The former editor-in-chief of the daily, Can Dündar, was named as the prime suspect in the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges directed at the suspects include “membership of an armed terrorist organization” and “helping an armed terrorist organization while not being a member of it.”
Prosecutors are seeking between 7.5 and 15 years in prison sentence for Dündar, editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, IPI Board Member Kadri Gürsel, Aydın Engin, Bülent Yener and Günseli Özaltay for “helping an armed terrorist organization while not being a member.”
Cumhuriyet CEO Akın Atalay, Mehmet Orhan Erinç and Önder Çelik are charged with “helping an armed terrorist organization while not being a member” and “abusing trust,” with the prosecutor demanding between 11.5 and 43 years in jail for them.
Between 9.5 and 29 years in jail is demanded for Bülent Utku, caricaturist Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Hikmet Aslan Çetinkaya on the same charges as those directed at Atalay, Erinç and Çelik.
In addition, the prosecutor sought between 7.5 and 15 years in prison for journalist
Ahmet Şık for “helping and being a member of the PKK
and the DHKP/C.”