Baransu, the only jailed defendant in the case, who was brought to the courtroom from the Silivri Prison accompanied by gendarmerie, continued presenting his defense statement on the first day of the hearing, which was planned to continue for three days.
Taraf’s former executives Ahmet Altan, Yasemin Çongar and Yıldıray Oğur were not in attendance because they are exempt from personal appearance in court. Çongar and Altan were represented in court by lawyer Figen Albuga Çalıkuşu while Oğur was represented by lawyer Gülçin Avşar.
The hearing scheduled for 28 August did not take place because the court failed to send a summons to the Silivri Prison for Baransu to be brought to the courthouse.
Baransu continued making his defense statement on the third day of the hearing on 29 August. In its interim ruling at the end of that hearing, the court ordered the continuation of Mehmet Baransu’s detention on remand on the grounds of “the nature and type of the alleged crime” and because he “has still not completed his defense statement.” The court set 10-11-12 December 2019 as the dates for the next hearing.
11 July 2019:
The accusations in the case stem from the alleged publication of a document called “Egemen War Plan.”
P24 monitored the two-day hearing, where Baransu, the only imprisoned defendant in the case, who is in pre-trial detention in the Silivri Prison, was in attendance to continue with his defense statement. Former Taraf executives Ahmet Altan, Yasemin Çongar and Yıldıray Oğur, who are exempt from personal appearance in court, did not attend. They were represented by their lawyers.
Following Baransu’s statement, Altan and Çongar’s lawyer Figen Albuga Çalıkuşu addressed the court, saying there was a mistaken opinion about the subject matter of the trial and that Baransu had been going on about the Balyoz documents in his defense statement although this is of no relation to the present case. “This trial is not about Taraf’s coverage of the Balyoz [sledgehammer] coup plan. The CD’s that included information about the Balyoz coup are unrelated to this case. This trial is about documents that were not among those which the trial at the 4th High Criminal Court was based on,” Çalıkuşu said.
“The document called ‘Egemen war plan’ was uncovered in 2008 among the Turkish Armed Forces’ [TSK] archives of classified documents. The allegation is that the said document was stolen from the archives and leaked to the Greek press. But the TSK has been asserting that this very document had been destroyed the same year. And Taraf’s coverage at the time did not include these documents,” she added.
Following the completion of statements by lawyers, the prosecutor requested the continuation of Baransu’s detention on remand.
Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the two-day hearing, the court ordered the continuation of Baransu’s detention. The court also ruled to separate the file against Baransu concerning the charge of “membership in a terrorist group” to be sent to a criminal court in Mersin, which is also overseeing another criminal case against Baransu. Also ruling to wait for the execution of the arrest warrant against Tuncay Opçin, the fifth defendant in the case, the court adjourned the trial until 27, 28, 29 August.