The second hearing of the case into the raid on Hürriyet, the Hürriyet Daily News, CNN Türk and Kanal D at the Doğan Media Center during last year’s failed coup was postponed to early August by an Istanbul court on July 18 after the suspects demanded extra time for their pleas.
During the first hearing of the case on July 17, three former captains, Erdal Şeker, Süleyman Ahmet Kaya and Mehmet Akif Aslan, claimed they had not received the indictment and refused to testify.
They demanded additional time for their pleas on July 18 on the second day of the hearing.
The board of the 27th High Criminal Court at Istanbul later ruled that it would be no benefit to the case to listen to the plaintiffs without the suspects’ testimony and adjourned the case to Aug. 7, 8 and 9.
It also ordered the continuation of the suspects’ arrest citing lack of pleas, the current state of evidence and the accusations directed at them.
The court will hear the pleas of the suspects on Aug. 7 and the journalists at the building during the raid will testify the next day. The final verdict will be given on Aug. 9.
Earlier, the chief judge had ordered an inquiry to investigate the suspects’ claims on not receiving indictments.
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office had demanded three aggravated life sentences for each of the 19 soldiers on charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” and “obstructing the duties of the Turkish Republic” in addition to jail terms ranging from 7.5 years to 15 years on charges of “being a member of an armed terror organization.”
The indictment stated the coup soldiers entered the parking lot of the Doğan Media Center at 3:00 a.m. on July 16, 2016. “The General Staff has seized power of the state,” they shouted after splitting into two groups and opening fire into the air.
They also threatened personnel at the Doğan Media Center with guns and demanded them to open the doors, the indictment stated. One of the captains also granted permission to another soldier under his command to shoot anyone who moved.