Journalist Onur Öncü was indicted on the grounds that he allegedly committed the crime of “publicly insulting a public official due to his or her duty” as per the Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). His YouTube video “There is an Interior Minister who wants to be Süleyman the Scammer of the country” posted on Özgürüz channel on May 3, 2021 was cited as criminal evidence against the journalist. The related sentence used in the title was not uttered by Öncü, but by his guest.
The trial will be held in simple procedure at the Küçükçekmece 22nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Öncü and his lawyers will submit their written statements of defense to the court within two weeks (September 9).
Handing down its ruling on July 26, 2022, the İstanbul Küçükçekmece 22nd Criminal Court of First Instance concluded that the elements of the offense charged were not constituted. In its detailed ruling, the court indicated that when the entire video was examined, it was seen that Öncü’s remarks did not involve any insults against Soylu. Considering the journalist’s remarks to be within the limits of “harsh criticism” and “rude words” in line with the legal precedents of the ECtHR and the Court of Cassation, the court ruled that Öncü should be acquitted (September 7).
Upon the appeal of Soylu’s lawyer against the ruling of acquittal handed down at the end of a trial held in simple procedure, the İstanbul Küçükçekmece 22nd Criminal Court of First Instance ruled that the trial should be held again in general trial procedure. Onur Öncü will appear before the judge on December 19, 2022 (October 13).
At the hearing held on December 19, 2022, the court ruled that Öncü should be acquitted on the grounds that the elements of the offense charged had not been constituted (December 19).