Dündar, Gül begin second hearing
ISTANBULThe second hearing of the controversial trial of two prominent Turkish journalists, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, will be held on April 1, following the first hearing on March 25 where the court ruled the whole trial to be held in secret.
Lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) attending the first trial refused to leave the courtroom after their request to follow the hearings was rejected by the judges.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and National Intelligence Agency (MİT) are the plaintiffs in the case, which has drawn both strong domestic and international condemnations.
Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Dündar and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül, were arrested due to the stories published about Turkish intelligence trucks bound for Syria with hidden weapons in early 2014, on Nov. 26.
Dündar and Gül, who were released pending trial on Feb. 26 after a decision by the Constitutional Court, are charged with espionage and threatening state security.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office assigned a new prosecutor to the case, two days before its first hearing on March 25 after the duo’s release.
The court said the journalists’ 92-day imprisonment over charges of terrorism was a “violation of rights.”
President Erdoğan and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have criticized the top court for “exceeding its jurisdiction.” Erdoğan himself said he would not respect the Constitutional Court’s ruling to release the journalists.