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Defendants: Adil Demirci

Media Outlet and Position: ETHA News Agency – Reporter

Accusations: Terrorist propaganda; Membership of a terrorist organization

Possible sentences: 15 up to 22 years 6 months

Court: İstanbul 25. High Criminal Court

Case background:

Adil Demirci, a reporter of Etkin News Agency (ETHA), was arrested on April 17, 2018, after four days in police custody on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda”. Demirci, who lived in Germany, was taken into custody after a police raid on his house while he was in Istanbul.

During the first hearing on November 20, 2018, a judge at the İstanbul Çağlayan Adliye 25. High Criminal Court ordered the continued detention of Adil Demirci, who is being held on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “creating propaganda for a terrorist organization” for his coverage between 2013-2015 of the conflict in Kobane, and the funerals of those who lost their lives in the violence. He is facing a sentence from 15 up to 22 years and 6 months in prison.

Demirci was released after the second hearing on February 14, 2019, marking 10 months in detention with a ban on leaving the city. During the third hearing on April 30, an intelligence report about Demirci’s activity in Northern Iraq was submitted. Demirci denied the claim. His lawyers requested the report be taken out of the file for violating the right to a fair trial along and that the travel ban be lifted. All requests were denied by the court.

During the hearing on October 15, 2019, the court rejected the request the travel ban to be lifted, adjourned the hearing until February 13, 2020.

IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi monitored the hearing on February 13 in Istanbul. The journalist was absent due to leaving abroad. The court rejected the defendants’ request to lift the judicial control measures imposed on the defendants and adjourned the trial until June 16, 2020.

On June 16 hearing, the press weren’t allowed inside the courtroom due to the coronavirus pandemic measures. All judicial control measures against the defendants were lifted. Court gave additional time to defense for a possible extension on the prosecution.

During the hearing on November 11, 2020, Demirci’s lawyer requested official police reports drafted during the police custody to be included in the case file. The court rejected the request on the ground that it would prolong the trial.

During the hearing on March 17, 2021, Demirci was represented by his lawyers in the courtroom.

The court ruled to release only detained defendant in the case with total 22 co-defendants and separated one of the defendants’ case file.

The next hearing will be held on September 15, 2021 for missing documents in the case file to be completed.

See case background and updates here.