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Former prosecutor Avcı testifies in court over insult charges

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Former public prosecutor and journalist Gültekin Avcı, who was arrested in August on coup charges, testified to an İstanbul court on Tuesday over accusations of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish Parliament.

Avcı testified to the İstanbul 27th Penal Court of First Instance through the IT Voice and Image System (SEGBİS) from Silivri Prison, where he is jailed.

Erdoğan was represented at the hearing by his lawyer, Hatice Özbay.

Avcı is accused of insulting Erdoğan, the Turkish Parliament, the Turkish nation and the Turkish Republic in a series of Twitter messages on various occasions. He faces a jail sentence of up to seven years in line with the 301st and 299th articles of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

In his defense, the former prosecutor said Erdoğan withdrew all the cases he filed against individuals over insult charges in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15 due to an environment of solidarity in the country. However, the judge said the crimes allegedly committed by Avcı do not necessarily call for the filing of an individual complaint.

Arrested in September 2015 by an İstanbul court on charges of attempting to overthrow the government by means of seven columns he had written, Avcı was released in June. He was arrested in August again as part of an investigation into the July 15 coup attempt, which claimed the lives of more than 240 people and injured a thousand others when a group of military officers attempted to overthrow the Turkish government in an unsuccessful attempt.


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