Journalist Dündar Sentenced to Read a Book for 2 Hours a Week on Charge of ‘Insult’
The court has announced its ruling in the lawsuit filed against journalist Uğur Dündar for having insulted AKP’s Binali Yıldırım: His prison sentence of 11 months, 20 days has been converted into reading a book for two hours a week.
The Küçükçekmece 2nd Penal Court of First Instance has ruled that the journalist shall be sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison on the offense charged. The court has also concluded that as Dündar was previously convicted of an intentional crime, there is no ground to suspend the announcement of the verdict.
Considering the age, personality, social and economic condition of Dündar as well as his repentance in the trial process, the court has converted his sentence into a sanction as per the Article 50 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Accordingly, the court has ruled that Dündar shall read articles, theses and books on "crimes against honor" at the library of Higher Education Institutions for at least 2 hours a week within office hours for a period of 5 months and 25 days, namely the half of his prison term.
Dündar: I am taken aback
Speaking to the Habertürk TV channel about the issue, Dündar indicated that he was at a loss for words and said, "I am taken aback":
"This case was, in fact, concluded and I was sentenced to prison. The Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the judgement. Mr. Binali Yıldırım withdrew his complaint later. He did not only withdraw it, he also wanted me to moderate the live TV program with İmamoğlu before the June 24 elections. He expressed trust. This verdict is given against the will of Binali Yıldırım. He has withdrawn the case after all.
"And, to me, there was not an insult anyway. I am a journalist with 50-year experience, I know it very well what constitutes an insult or a crime committed against honor. I have lots of books on that, I am a person who thought lessons on that in universities.
"There is not a single lawsuit filed against me now. I do not have a criminal record. How did they give such a judgement? I am taken aback."
The indictment issued by the İstanbul Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Uğur Dündar faced up to 2 years, 4 months in prison for having allegedly insulted İzmir MP of ruling AKP Binali Yıldırım in an article that he penned for daily Sözcü on April 5, 2014.
In his final hearing on October 9, 2015, Uğur Dündar was sentenced to 11 months, 20 days in prison on charge of "insult".
After the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the judgement, the case was heard again by the Küçükçekmece 2nd Penal Court of First Instance. (TP/SD)
The court used its right granted by Turkish laws to turn Dündar’s sentence over insulting Binali Yıldırım to other forms of alternative punishments, left-wing news site Duvar said.
Dündar was sentenced to read books, dissertations, and articles on “crimes against people’s honour” at least two hours a day during working hours for 5 months and 25 days. The court previously sentenced Dündar 11 months 20 days in prison in 2015, but the Appeals Court reversed the ruling.