Turkish court rejects recusal of judge in Cumhuriyet trial

A Turkish court on Wednesday rejected an appeal for the recusal of the judge of what is known as the Cumhuriyet trial, T24 reported.

The Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court on Nov. 21 overturned an appeal court acquittal of journalists in the trial. Following the ruling, lawyers of the defendants requested the recusal of the judge.

The lower court ruled in favour of the acquittal of journalist Kadri Gürsel, but upheld previous prison sentences for the remaining 12 defendants in the case, despite a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals in September demanding a reversal of all the sentences.

The defendants, including journalist and opposition member of parliament Ahmet Şık, can re-appeal the lower court’s ruling.

The Supreme Court of Appeals in September demanded a reversal of the sentences against the Cumhuriyet staff, who were all later released from prison.

The lower court had convicted 13 former Cumhuriyet executives and journalists of the crime of aiding a terrorist group while Emre İper, an accounting department employee, was convicted of terrorist propaganda.

The court set aside the cases against journalists Can Dündar and Ahval’s English editor, İlhan Tanır, who are both outside the country.