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Editor on trial again for "breaching secrecy"

(BIANET/IFEX) - Faruk Cakir, editor-in-chief of the "Yeni Asya" newspaper, is to be tried for two articles entitled "Council of State to Expand Case" and "Investigation of Council of State is Being Expanded". He is accused of violating the secrecy of an investigation.

Bagcilar Public Prosecutor Ali Cakir has opened a case against Cakir. The articles said that the Ankara 11th Heavy Penal Court is investigating possible links between the attack on the 2nd Chamber of the Council of State in Ankara in May 2006, in which a lawyer attacked the judges, killing one, and the finding of a weapons arsenal in a home in Ümraniye, Istanbul.

The indictment of 25 July 2007 said that Faruk Cakir bore the responsibility for the articles as he has not revealed the names of the authors. It also demanded up to 4.5 years' imprisonment for Faruk Cakir, for breaching Article 11 of the Press Law and Article 285/1-3 of the Penal Code.

It is further said in the indictment that the articles, published on 23 June, violate the secrecy of the investigation by quoting from statements from the investigation run by the Istanbul Public Prosecution.

The Bagcilar Public Prosecution had previously opened a trial against Faruk Cakir over his article entitled "Hayal Says: Pamuk Should Behave". The charge was also that of violating the secrecy of an investigation. The trial had been initiated by Levent Yildirim, a lawyer of Hrant Dink's murder suspect O.S.

The indictment had cited Article 19/1 of Press Law No. 5186. The journalist was acquitted in that case.

On 13 February, Faruk Cakir was already punished with a 3,600 YTL (approx. US$3,000) fine from the Bagcilar 2nd Penal Court for "attempting to influence a trial". The article entitled "The Game has Backfired" said that lawyer Alparslan Arslan, who had carried out the attack on the Council of State, was a member of a nationalist organisation called "Red Apple". The newspaper also said that some retired members of the Turkish Armed Forces had encouraged the attack.

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