Last update: 14-Apr-2020 10:52
The trial of journalists Arif Aslan and Selman Keleş on the charge of “membership of a terrorist group,” which was planned to resume on 16 January 2020, was postponed to a later date when one of the defense lawyers submitted to the court a letter of excuse. The trial will resume on 7 May at the 5th High Criminal Court of Van.
The final hearing in the trial of journalists Selman Keleş, Özgür Paksoy, Aziz Oruç, Kenan Kırkaya, İshak Yasul and Ersin Çaksu over a number of news reports published in October 2016 in the now-defunct newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi took place on 28 November 2019 at Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
Issuing its verdict at the end of the hearing, the court sentenced Yasul, Kırkaya, Paksoy and Keleş to five months in prison each on the charge of “publicly degrading the judicial bodies of the state.” The court separated the files of Oruç and Çaksu. The court deferred the sentences of Yasul, Kırkaya and Paksoy while Keleş’s sentence was suspended.
5 November 2019:
The trial of Selman Keleş, a former reporter for Dicle News Agency (DİHA) for allegedly “disrupting the unity and sovereignty of the state” over a news report that was published in 2016, resumed at the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance of Istanbul on 5 November 2019.
Keleş, who resides abroad, was not in attendance and was represented by his lawyer Özcan Kılıç. Deciding to wait for the arrest warrant issued against Keleş to be executed, the court adjourned the trial until 28 November 2019.
5 September 2019:
The sixth hearing in the trial of journalists Selman Keleş and Arif Aslan on the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization” was held on 5 September 2019 at the Van 5th High Criminal Court.
Aslan and his lawyer Cahit Durmaz were in attendance. Durmaz asked the court to separate the file of Selman Keleş, who is unable to attend the hearings because he currently lives abroad. The panel sais they would consider the lawyer’s request for the two files to be separated and adjourned the trial until 16 January 2020.
Keleş and Aslan were jailed pending trial in Van and released pending trial by the trial court at the end of their first hearing on 21 November 2017 after spending eight months in pre-trial detention.
15 November 2018:
5 December 2017:
Local authorities detained Keleş in March 2017 after he photographed a Van regional municipality building, Dihaber reported at the time. Aslan, a municipality employee, was detained alongside Keleş.
The court had released Keleş and Aslan from pre-trial detention on November 21, the daily Evrensel reported at the time. As of December 7, authorities had not taken them back into custody.
Their trial is due to resume on February 22, 2018, according to Evrensel.
21 November 2017:
A Turkish court in the eastern Van region on November 21 released Selman Keleş, a photojournalist who was detained in March after photographing a regional municipality building, the daily Evrensel reported.
The court also released Arif Aslan, a municipality employee who was being tried alongside Keleş, according to Evrensel. Their trial is due to resume on February 22, 2018.