Journalist Baransu’s lawyer called up to testify as terror suspect

Kavili was not provided with any information on the details of the terrorism investigation in question or the reason why he was called on to testify.

“I do not know why they called me in to give testimony. I can only think of a few reasons. This might be a move to intimidate and silence me. They are free to do whatever they want. Yes, there is terrorism. But we are not the ones behind it. I will tell the prosecutor this during my testimony,” Kavili said.

Baransu was arrested in March over documents that he submitted to prosecutors in 2010, prompting a major coup trial known as “Sledgehammer” (Balyoz) that implicated top military brass.

The documents released by Baransu claimed the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time, agreed to wipe out the faith-based Gulen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement. Erdogan publicly called Baransu a “traitor” during a campaign rally conducted in support of the AK Party shortly before the June 7 election.

An indictment was prepared by Mersin Chief Public Prosecutor Talip Akgedik in which Baransu was accused of staging a coup against the government by covering reports about genetically modified rice in the Taraf daily in 2013.

The Mersin 2nd High Criminal Court has accepted the indictment. Akgedik stated in the indictment that Baransu had tried to create a negative perception of some government officials in the reports by stating that they had overlooked those who imported genetically modified rice.

The prosecutor also said in the indictment that Baransu intended to place pressure on the government to resign by creating the perception that it had covered up the corruption.

The first hearing was on Oct. 14 in Mersin province. Baransu, who is being held at Silivri Prison in İstanbul, attended the hearing via video conference.


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