Appearing following the hearing live on CNN Türk, the CHP’s jurist parliamentarian Muharrem Erkek explained with a string of examples how the Cumhuriyet trial has collapsed thanks to the defences made in the courtroom by the Cumhuriyet staffers and their lawyers.
It took CHP Çanakkale MP and Parliamentary Constitutional Commission member Muharrem Erkek 11 minutes and 15 seconds to explain in full detail a few hours after the Cumhuriyet Newspaper hearing on the live “What is Happening with Şirin Payzın” programme broadcast on CNN Türk how the Cumhuriyet Newspaper trial has collapsed.
The following are the points to which the CHP’s jurist parliamentarian, who has been following the Cumhuriyet trial and investigation proceedings from the outset, drew attention on a live broadcast concerning the charges filed against Cumhuriyet and the procedure in the trial:
THE SO-CALLED EVIDENCE THAT IS STUFFED INTO THE FILE BEFORE EACH HEARING
Why does “evidence” enter the file a few days before each hearing or on the day of the hearing?
Why was a discussion between Aydın Engin and Osman Kavala speaking of the paper being in dire financial circumstances and the possibility of a project being created and funds received from the EU placed in the file as evidence for the prosecution?
Why is the Doğan Satmış interview deemed to be evidence?
HOW IS THE PROSECUTOR STILL IN HIS POST?
Why, when judges, prosecutors and even lawyers who are subject to terrorism investigation cannot perform duties, is Prosecutor Murat İnam, who launched the probe into Cumhuriyet on his own initiative, still in his post in defiance of express legislation?
As a jurist, it is unacceptable for one of the accused in a terrorism trial to be conducting such an investigation. One of the prosecutors who drafted the indictment, in turn, has been appointed a member of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. This person has been vested with the authority to conduct procedures of all kinds relating to the judges and prosecutors who are hearing the Cumhuriyet trial.
The penal judge of the peace who passed the detention order has been made the presiding judge on a newly established serious crime court. The penal judge of the peace who denied the objection to detention has also been made the presiding judge on a serious crime court. These are not normal procedures in the judiciary.
ALLEGED “USURPATION” OF FOUNDATION MANAGEMENT
The crux of this trial is the allegation that management of the Cumhuriyet Foundation was usurped by FETO. On the passing away of Cumhuriyet Foundation manager Prof. Dr. Aydın Aybay, Önder Çelik was elected in his place in the ensuing election.
Who is Önder Çelik? He is one of the eleven founding partners of the company set up in 1992 along with the likes of Uğur Mumcu and Ali Sirmen to publish the paper. Those who elected him are Orhan Erinç and Hikmet Çetinkaya. Orhan Erinç has been a member of Cumhuriyet newspaper for 54 years. Hikmet Çetinkaya has been at Cumhuriyet newspaper for 51 years. And Cüneyt Arcayürek, İbrahim Yıldız and Akın Atalay. These were the other electors. So, how was Cumhuriyet newspaper usurped? What kind of logic is this?
The second allegation is the allegation that Cumhuriyet newspaper changed its editorial policy.
This is such a tragicomic allegation. Judges from time to time call out from the rostrum, “Know your place and do not teach us our profession.” As such, journalists are also entitled to call out to judges, “Do not teach us our profession.” It is such a tragicomic trial.
EXPERT’S REPORT COUNTS FOR NOTHING
A Judicial Expert with great expertise in the matter made a very important presentation to the court. Emre İper was detained on the grounds that he had ByLock on his telephone. These are the sole grounds. The expert proved in technical terms that Emre İper did not have ByLock on his phone and had never downloaded it. Even though this report came as very serious vindication for the accused, the court did not order his release.
THE PLIGHT OF THE JUDICIARY
Today, seventy per cent of society does not trust the judiciary. Fifty-six per cent of judges and prosecutors do not. Today, seventy per cent of the judges and prosecutors serving on first-instance courts in the normal judiciary have less than three years’ seniority. Even members of the senior judiciary believe that there is no justice. Is such an environment conducive to establishing harmony and brotherhood?
WHY WAS THE POLICE REPORT THAT “NO EVIDENCE COULD BE FOUND” NOT PLACED IN THE INDICTMENT?
Murat Sabuncu and Akın Atalay have been in detention for one year. The investigating prosecutor has martialled every shred in support of his case and stuffed the file with evidence based on forced interpretation and fabrication. There is a record in the file. The record dated 31 March 2017 compiled by the police unit for combatting financial crimes reads verbatim: “In the search conducted into Akın Atalay and Murat Sabuncu, on inspection of all documents in relation to the FETO-PYD organisation sent to our office by various units and collated at the Analysis Branch Directorate no record concerning these individuals was encountered in these lists.” Even though this record entered the file three days prior to the indictment, it did not enter the indictment. We then encounter it in the court file. These people have been held in detention for 365 days on such an indictment.