REGIONS:

Journalist and newspaper executives sued by former prosecutor

(BIANET/IFEX) - 2 March 2011 - A former prosecutor from Erzincan Ilic, Bayram Bozkurt, has filed a claim for compensation worth TL 100,000 (approx. €45,000) against Vuslat Dogan Sabanci, the board chair of the Hurriyet Journalism Printing Company, journalist Ismail Saymaz and Hakan Kilic, a representative of the company.

The case will be heard by the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of First Instance. The lawsuit stems from news items written by Saymaz and published in the national "Radikal" newspaper on 12 February and 2 March 2010. Bozkurt was a prosecutor at the Erzincan Ilic Prosecutor's Office (in northeastern Anatolia) until 11 February 2010 and was subsequently appointed to the Mus Malazgirt Public Prosecutor's Office (in southeastern Turkey). He later resigned from the latter position.

The former prosecutor's complaint regarding the news items was submitted to the courts by his lawyer, Mustafa Kocadag. The articles in question were entitled "Assassination with a tick, coup of the tea vendors" and "Is the secret witness Efe the 'Prosecutor with a tick'?" The complaint claimed that "the related news articles constitute a clear attack on (Bozkurt's) personal rights" and that the allegations in the articles could not be considered "criticism", were "not required in the public interest" and violated a confidentiality decision.

The claim for compensation consists of TL50,000 for each article plus interest starting from the dates of publication. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for 31 March 2011.

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