Amnesty International's Turkey Branch Executive Board Director Taner Kılıç was detained in June 2017 charged with being a ByLock user. Kılıç’s case was joined with the case of the rights advocates who had been in detention for 113 days after having been arrested at a meeting on digital security and stress management on Büyükada.
Judicial IT expert Koray Peksayar, who had exposed the victimhood surrounding ByLock through work he had conducted along with judicial IT expert Tuncay Beşikçi, examined the digital evidence relating to the charges pressed against Kılıç. Peksayar was also heard as a witness in connection with the charge at the hearing dated 22 November 2017. Peksayar stated that ByLock had not in any way been loaded onto Kılıç’s phone.
At the latest hearing of the trial heard yesterday, Kılıç referred to Ankara Chief Republic Prosecution’s list of 11,480 people who had been unwittingly directed to ByLock IPs due to using programs that had been installed under the “Purple Brain” program. Kılıç, stating that he had loaded the programs “Prayer Direction Compass” and “Prayer Times” installed under the “Purple Brain” program onto his phone in 2014, said that victims like him had remained unidentifiable. At the hearing, hearing prosecutor Caner Babaloğlu, asked for the recommended action he was applying for, sought the issuing of an order to extend detention on allegations such as the character and nature of the charges filed against Kılıç and the existence of evidence that pointed to strong suspicion of guilt. After the court ordered Kılıç’s release, prosecutor Babaloğlu objected against the ruling. Babaloğlu said in his submission, alleging that Kılıç used the ByLock program, “The continuation of organisational ties and organisational membership within the hierarchy is the clearest evidence that he was taking orders and instructions from the organisation’s leader and managerial echelons.”
Endeavour to produce an organisation out of Büyükada
Babaloğlu, asserting that the meeting on Büyükada was related to terrorist organisations, argued that Kılıç took an active role in organising this meeting. Babaloğlu alleged that Kılıç’s being in communication with trial defendants Amnesty International Turkey Branch Director İdil Eser and Human Rights Agenda Association member lawyer Günal Kurşun clearly exposed Kılıç’s position within the organisation and the variety and intensity of the activities. Babaloğlu sought the annulment of the release order issued with reference to Kılıç and an apprehension order for his detention. Given that there was no aspect of the order issued by the bench that ordered release that was contrary to procedure and the law, the objection was examined on the same day by the senior court, Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 36. The court, in its examination of the objection, copied the prosecutor’s assertion verbatim and stated that the evidence had not been gathered in full but there was concrete evidence that pointed to the strong suspicion of guilt. The court, granting the prosecutor’s application, ruled that an apprehension order be issued for Kılıç’s detention.
Despite the existence of an order for Kılıç’s release, he was not released from İzmir Aliağa Prison where he had been detained for eight months over the course of all these procedures. Kılıç was arrested by the gendarmerie and taken to a gendarmerie station. Kılıç, having spent the night at the gendarmerie station, was connected via video link to the trial court, Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 35. Kılıç, on being asked for his statement, said, “The case is not a new case. It is impossible for the court that examined the objection to have familiarised itself with the case in such a short time. No new documents have entered the file. I call on you to reinstate your ruling.” The bench ordered Kılıç to be placed in pretrial detention.