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Trial of ‘insulting’ Turkish Cypriot journalist postponed for third time

ali kismir
Ali Kismir

The trial of Turkish Cypriot journalist Ali Kismir, who faces ten years in prison for “insulting” the Turkish Cypriot armed forces, was postponed for the third time on Monday.

The trial was initially scheduled to begin seven weeks ago on October 6, but will now begin on December 28 at the earliest following the latest postponement.

As happened at the previous hearing in October, the trial was postponed as Kismir’s lawyer Hasan Esendagli requested time to hold a meeting with the north’s chief public prosecutor’s office.

The court allowed one month for the meeting to take place, with Esendagli saying the chief public prosecutor’s office “will clarify its opinion on whether to continue the case” when the court next reconvenes in December.

“We will see this together, we will be together again for new year’s,” he quipped.

“If the prosecutor conducts an investigation and shares our opinion that no crime took place, the case may end on December 28.”

Kismir stands accused of “insulting and defaming the morality of the TRNC security forces command,” an accusation which dates to a post he wrote on Facebook in August 2020.

In the post, he likened the headquarters of the ‘TRNC Security forces command’ to a “brothel” after it had allegedly been visited by representatives of Ersin Tatar in the run-up to that October’s Turkish Cypriot leadership election.

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