Upon the criminal complaint of Deputy Commander of Gendarmerie Musa Çitil, an investigation has been launched against Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-Chair Eren Keskin, journalists Yağmur Kaya and Ahmet Kanbal on charge of “turning a counterterrorism official into a target” (June 21).
The indictment lodged against Kanbal was accepted by the Aydın 3rd High Criminal Court. Facing 1 year to 3 years in prison, the journalist will start standing trial in December 2021 (August 5).
At the first hearing of the trial held on December 10, 2021, the court board pronounced its interim ruling. It accepted Musa Çitil’s request for involvement in the trial. It also gave additional time to Kanbal and his lawyer to prepare their defense statements as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on February 2, 2022 (December 10).
At the hearing held on February 2, 2022, Kanbal made a request for recusal on the grounds that the judge restricted his access to court and lost her/his impartiality. The court board rejected the request on the grounds that it was not in compliance with the due process of law and was aimed at prolonging the trial. Giving time for the appeal to be lodged against the decision, the court board adjourned the trial until March 2 (February 2).
At the final hearing held on March 2, 2022, the court board ruled that Ahmet Kanbal should be sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison for “turning a counterterrorism official into a target”. Kanbal was acquitted of “insulting a public official” (March 2).
The appeals court reversed the prison sentence of 1 year, 3 months given to Kanbal on charge of “marking counterterrorism officials as targets” as it was unlawful and ruled that Kanbal should be acquitted (February 3, 2023).