7 January 2020:
Mezopotamya news agency reporter Barış Polat’s trial on the charge of “membership of a terrorist group” resumed on 7 January 2020 at the 7th High Criminal Court of Gaziantep. The case was launched during the time when Polat was a distributor for the pro-Kurdish Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper, which was later closed down through a statutory decree in 2018.
Polat did not attend the hearing, where he was represented by his lawyer. Issuing its verdict at the end of the hearing, the court sentenced Polat to 6 years and 3 months in prison for “membership of a terrorist group.” Polat’s lawyers will appeal the verdict.
The trial of Mezopotamya news agency reporter Barış Polat on the charge of “membership in a terrorist group” resumed on 10 September 2019 at the 7th High Criminal Court of Gaziantep.
Polat was taken into custody on account of his social media posts during the time when he was a distributor for the now-defunct newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi. Old issues of the newspaper that were found in Polat’s home during a police raid at the time are held as evidence against him in the case file.
Addressing the court for his defense statement during the latest hearing, Polat rejected the accusation. The prosecutor then submitted his final opinion of the case, asking the court to convict Polat of “terrorist group membership.” The court adjourned the trial until 7 January 2010 for Polat to prepare his final defense statement in response to the accusation in the prosecutor’s final opinion.