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Journalist to be retried on technicality for criticising army in 2002 magazine article

(BIANET/IFEX) - The Supreme Court sentenced journalist Emin Karaca to five months in prison, then later to a fine of 900 YTL (approx. US$680), for criticising the army. Now he is to be retried.

Karaca wrote an article in the magazine "Yazin", which appears in Turkey and Europe, remembering the anniversary of the execution of three leftist militants, Deniz Gezmis, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin Inan.

In his article, printed in the April 2002 issue of the magazine, Karaca wrote about the execution of the three young men 30 years earlier. He accused the army of being involved in murders since the 1960s.

Karaca was tried under Article 301/2, for "insulting and deriding the armed forces". In the trial, which began in November 2002, Mehmet Emin Sert, the magazine's editor, was acquitted. Doðan Özgüden, the editor-in-chief, was not tried because he lives in Belgium.

Now, because of a procedural error (a missing signature), Karaca will be retried. The new trial is set to start on 20 June 2007, in a penal court in Istanbul.

At the time of the first trial, international press freedom group Reporters sans frontières wrote a letter to then minister of justice Aysel Celikel protesting against the case.

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