Following the ruling of “right violation” given by the Constitutional Court, the İstanbul 6th Criminal Judgeship of Peace ruled that the police officers who inflicted violence on dokuz8HABER Editor-in-Chief Gökhan Biçici should be put on trial. Covering the protests during the Gezi Resistance in 2013, journalist Gökhan Biçici was subjected to police violence; however, a decision of “non-prosecution” was previously given for the five suspect police officers on charges of “exceeding the limits of the right to use force”, “insult” and “violation of the freedom to work and labor”.
Reviewing the appeal against the decision of “non-prosecution” given by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office with the decision no. 2014/79864 – 2021/135880 S.K., the İstanbul 6th Criminal Judgeship of Peace recalled that the İstanbul 4th Criminal Judgeship of Peace’s “rejection of the appeal against this decision” was previously taken to the Constitutional Court. In the decision, it was indicated that the Constitutional Court ruling on violence against journalist Gökhan Biçici referred to “the violation of freedom of expression and press and the prohibition of inhuman treatment as to the merits and on procedural grounds and the resulting non-prosecution on the grounds of the expiry of statutory limitations”.
Concluding that the decision of expiry of statutory limitations was “against the due procedure of law and the related legal regulations”, the court accepted the appeal of Gökhan Biçici ve ruled that “the decision of non-prosecution should be overturned”. The related decision was returned to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office together with the investigation file. With the indictment to be reissued by the prosecutor’s office, the first hearing of the trial will be held by the İstanbul 48th Criminal Court of First Instance on June 30, 2022 (May 30).
At the hearing held on June 30, 2022, the prosecutor’s office presented its opinion as to the accusations and requested that the case be dropped as per the Article 223/8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK) as the date of the offense was 2013 and the period of statutory limitations was 8 years. Speaking as to the accusations, Biçici said, “I do not think that statutory limitations apply to this offense because the offense in question is torture. The trial of the defendants should continue at a High Criminal Court.” Lawyer İris requested time to make a statement of defense as to the accusations. The court accepted the request. The next hearing will be held on September 13 (June 30).
At the hearing on September 13, 2022, the prosecutor of the hearing withdrew the request for expiry of statutory limitations and changed the previous opinion as to the accusations in such a way to demand the continuance of the prosecution. Biçici’s lawyer Metin İriz requested that additional defense be taken from the defendants. İriz also demanded the extension of the inquiry and requested that witnesses be heard. Accepting the request for hearing witnesses, the court ruled for a warrant against police officer Y.U. to take his statement of defense. The next hearing will be held on November 22 (September 13).
At the hearing held on November 22, 2022, the statement of only one defendant had been taken.The court ruled that a warrant should be issued against one more police officer on trial who did not come to the hearings despite written notices. The court also ruled that the execution of the warrant issued against another police officer at the previous hearing should be awaited. The next hearing will be held on February 23, 2023 (November 22).