Turkish lawyers in trial for obstruction of justice

As the lawyers were not representing suspects, Diken told them to remove their court dress and move out of the lawyers' seating area. The lawyers refused to move to alternative seating and proceeded to leave the courtroom.

Turkish lawyers in trial for obstruction of justice

The first hearing in the trial of İstanbul Bar Association head Ümit Kocasakal and nine other lawyers began at a Silivri court in İstanbul on Friday, but the trial was adjourned until a later date due to the crowd in the courtroom.

Kocasakal and the other lawyers are standing trial on charges of attempting to influence a fair trial. They entered a hearing of Sledgehammer coup trial without permission and began reading a statement to the panel of judges.

They are being tried at the Silivri 2nd Penal Court of First Instance. Jail sentences from two to four years are sought for Kocasakal and the other lawyers, Turgay Demirci, Mehmet Kurakoğlu, Hüseyin Özbek, Hasan Kılıç, Başar Yaltı, İsmail Altay, Aydeniz Alisbah Tuskan, Ayşe Füsun Dikmenli and Ufuk Özkap. All of the suspects were in attendance for the first hearing of the trial.

Turkish Bar Association President Ahsen Coşar and Ankara Bar Association head Metin Feyzioğlu, along with many other bar association heads said they would like to be co-plaintiffs in the trial.

Presiding judge Mustafa Egemen announced that he adjourned the trial until Oct. 10 because it was impossible to proceed due to the physical conditions in the courtroom. Egemen also decided to make a request to the Silivri Chief Public Prosecutor's Office about securing a larger courtroom.

Speaking to reporters, Kocasakal said: “We don't think we committed a crime. We will do what is necessary to ensure the supremacy of law.”

People who came to Silivri to support Kocasakal and the other lawyers chanted slogans, saying: “The İstanbul Bar Association is not alone,” and “We are proud of you.”

During the 90th hearing of the Sledgehammer case at the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court last year, a quarrel erupted between Kocasakal and the presiding judge of the court, Ömer Diken.

Kocasakal entered the courtroom with 10 other lawyers from the İstanbul Bar Association. When Diken asked the lawyers the reason for their presence in the courtroom, Kocasakal said the judges are damaging the honor of their profession. He argued that the court attacks defense lawyers and added that it did not permit lawyers to speak in a previous hearing, treating their insistence on speaking up as a disturbance of the court. Kocasakal also said a fair trial should take place and the association will continue monitoring legal proceedings at specially authorized courts. In response to his remarks, Diken said the court does not need supervision by any institution.

As the lawyers were not representing suspects, Diken told them to remove their court dress and move out of the lawyers' seating area. The lawyers refused to move to alternative seating and proceeded to leave the courtroom. The İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court then filed criminal complaints against Kocasakal and the other lawyers.

Cihan

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2013, 11:22
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