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Journalist Ibrahim Tig acquitted after five-year trial

(BIANET/IFEX) - After questioning the expenditures of a district governor in the Devrek district of Zonguldak, journalist Ibrahim Tig, who writes for "Bölge Haber" ("Regional News"), published in the same district, faced a five-year long trial before being acquitted on 30 January 2008.

The journalist had been charged with insulting the Devrek district governor (kaymakam), Alper Orkun, in the press, and faced a possible sentence of two years' imprisonment.

Tig had written two articles entitled "To the Kaymakam" and "The Sarar brand suit". In the latter article, he had written: "The Bey of Devrek has bought two of his guards and an administrator suits of the Sarar brand. Apparently they cannot stop praising our Bey anywhere. We are not surprised by the praise of the administrator who does not spend one evening without whisky and who has ensured that his son gets food support from the foundation. One cannot help but wonder at the special treatment of his son. Indeed, while hungry people in need of help cannot get this support (. . .) . I ask the Bey, did he pay for those suits with his own money or with money from the foundation? If he answers, I will inform you, our dear readers."

The Devrek Penal Court decided on 30 January that Tig had not demonstrated an intention to insult the governor. Prosecutor Mehmet Hanifi Yildirim, citing Article 223/2-d of the Code of Criminal Procedure Law 5271, called for the journalist's acquittal since the text was within the acceptable limits of journalism and criticism.

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