Journalists to appear in court after months

Journalists to appear in court after months

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Journalists to appear in court after months

Journalist Ahmet Şık was arrested in March 2011 on allegations of membership in the alleged Ergenekon ultranationalist gang that is accused of fomenting chaos. HÜRRİYET photo

The first hearing for 14 suspects in the Oda TV case, including arrested journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, is set to take place today at Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse.

The hearing will be held by a specially authorized Istanbul court in the hall of the First Court for Serious Crimes, which is reportedly larger than other courtrooms. The court will also provide video and audio recordings of the hearing, according to reports.

Prosecutors alleged in the case’s 134-page indictment that Şık’s manuscript, “İmamın Ordusu” (The Imam’s Army), was an illegal organization document and “a book draft prepared with other suspects as instructions and guidelines for the Ergenekon Armed Terrorist Organization.” Şık faces up to 15 years imprisonment for assisting a terrorist organization.

The manuscript and other digital copies of the book were seized in March by law enforcement officials as an “illegal organization document” and used as evidence.

Former intelligence operative Kaşif Kozinoğlu, who died under arrest on Nov. 12 due to a heart attack, was also set to appear in court.

The case regarding Oda TV, an online news portal known for its fierce criticism of government policies, began after the police conducted a search of the website’s offices in February as part of the ongoing Ergenekon probe.

Despite efforts to erase copies of “The Imam’s Army,” the book recently went to print and was released on the market at Istanbul’s Tüyap Book Fair on Nov. 16 under the title “000Kitap” (000Book).

The work was co-authored and edited by 125 journalists who volunteered their labor in an attempt to publish Şık’s banned book.

Meanwhile, NTV news channel reported that European Court of Human Rights has accepted Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık’s application.

Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist gang that is accused of plotting to overthrow the government by fomenting chaos in society.