Court rejects merger of Turkish journalists’ case with main intel trucks case
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoAn Istanbul court has rejected a prosecutor’s demand to merge a case in which prosecutors and soldiers are being tried for searching trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence agency with another case in which daily Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül are being tried for publishing a news story about the incident.
The rejection came as Dündar and Gül appeared in court for the third hearing of the case, which was opened after the duo published a news story on the trucks, reporting they were full of weapons and headed to Syria.
In the other case, for which the merger demand was made, four prosecutors along with a gendarmerie officer are being tried for their role in stopping the trucks. The suspects in the case, who included former Adana chief public prosecutor Süleyman Bağrıyanık, former Adana gendarmerie commander Staff Col. Özkan Çokay and former prosecutors Aziz Takçı, Özcan Şişman and Ahmet Karaca, are being charged with “attempting to overthrow the state” and “revealing information” about the “state’s security and political activities” for stopping the trucks for a search on January 2014.
The hearing took place in Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse and was closed to the public. The fourth hearing was scheduled to be held on May 6.
Dündar and Gül were arrested over their stories on Nov. 26, 2015, imprisoned pending trial for three months and released pending trial on Feb. 26 after a decision by the Constitutional Court.
Meanwhile, on April 14 the Supreme Court of Appeals ruled to merge the case of the prosecutors and gendarmerie officers with the case of “Selam Tevhid,” a terror group the government alleges to have been formed to justify a massive wiretapping scandal, with U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen as its main suspect.