The First Decision from the Courts: Suspended Jail Sentence
On Friday 23th, 2018, the 36th Assize Court of İstanbul has delivered its judgments regarding thre peace academics. Three academics have been found guilty for undersigning the peace declaration and sentenced for a suspended imprisonment of 15 months. The court has decided that using th means of media is a ground of aggravating the sentence. The decision seems to act like a precedent for the remaining cases.
The court has decided that, the undersigning of the peace declaration titled “We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime” falls under the scope of the Article 7/2 of thee Turkish Anti-Terror Law and employment of the media means is an aggravation of the crime. Therefore, three Academics from Istanbul University have been charged for 18 months, but their final sentence have been deduced to 15 months due to their good conduct in the courtroom. Snce the academics have chosen to use the legal tool of “deferment of the announcement of the verdict “, they will not practically go into prison unless they are found guilty for another crime in the following five years.
What is striking in this decision is that, even though there is no actual threat of imprisonment for three academics, it has been legally certified that undersigning the mentioned peace declaration legally counts as an act of crime. And with this tool of deferment, it is not possible for the convicted academics to appeal to a higher court. Lawyers, underlining their lack of trust in the Turkish judicial system, are stating that this decision is a sign for the remaining cases and shows the arbitrariness of the legal system.