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Two more cases launched against journalist who faces up to 107 years in prison

(BIANET/IFEX) - Two new trials were opened against "Radikal" newspaper reporter Ismail Saymaz on the grounds of his book "The Postmodern Jihad" and an article entitled "The Sultanbeyli Courthouse".

Saymaz is already facing up to 97 years in jail in connection with twelve other trials. One of these is linked to his reports on the arrest of Ilhan Cihaner, Public Chief Prosecutor of Erzincan (northeastern Anatolia).

The latest case, regarding "The Postmodern Jihad" book, was launched at the Special Authority 2nd High Criminal Court of Erzurum (eastern Anatolia). Saymaz is facing allegations of "targeting people on anti-terror duties", an offence that carries a prison term of up to three years. The first hearing on the case will be held on 26 April 2011.

The book is also linked to a compensation claim of TL 7,000 (€3,500) previously filed against the journalist by Prosecutor Osman Sanali.

Saymaz is not the only author being sued for his book commenting on events in Erzincan province. Ali Daglar from "Hürriyet" newspaper is standing trial on the grounds of his book "Master 01". Writer Ilhan Tasci, of "Cumhuriyet" newspaper, is also facing a legal action in connection with his book "Justice in a Gown".

Furthermore, Saymaz will now also be tried for alleged "defamation, insult and influencing the judiciary". The charges stem from the journalist's criticism of the "ethics" regarding the co-operation between Ugur Gokkoyun, prosecutor at the Courthouse of Sultanbeyli (Asian side of Istanbul), and his wife, Judge Dilek Gokkoyun. Hence, Saymaz is facing another prison sentence of up to ten years.

Saymaz briefly commented on the two new trials launched against him. He pointed out that "both prosecutors involved have filed their complaints at the courthouses where they work."

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