Journalists defend themselves over coup case

Journalists defend themselves over coup case

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Journalists defend themselves over coup case

Journalists and their supporters gather outside the Justice Palace to protest against the detention of journalists in Istanbul December 26, 2011. REUTERS Photo

Arrested journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener presented their defense to the court today in an ongoing coup plot case.

Şık was the first to defend himself against charges of being a member of an armed criminal organization with the purpose of overthrowing the current government.

Şık said he did not take the prosecutor's indictment seriously but he would defend himself anyhow. He was a journalist seeking the truth and he did not know why he was arrested, he said.

"One needs to be blind in his mind to claim I am part of a coup plot. I am being tried as a plotter with total disregard to my past, my journalism and my socialist identity. If you know nothing about me, you can at least Google my name to find out," Şık said.

Şık said it was not journalists who were on trial but the profession of journalism itself, and that the trials aimed at intimidating the people.

Police records in the indictment

Journalist Nedim Şener presented his defense after Şık, saying he was sorry to see records held by the police copied in their entirety into the prosecutor's indictment.

"The police officers who arrested me are the ones who killed Hrant Dink," Şener said, pointing out his arrest was directly related to the investigation into the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

"I was tried for a 30-year sentence while killers of Hrant walk free ... I do not want my daughter to grow up in a country where Hrant's killers are free," Şener said.