Turkish judge presides over hearing in her own case

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An İzmir judge has presided over the first hearing of a trial in which she is one of the parties, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Thursday.

The 27-year-old judge, identified only by the initials F.T., was registered as both the plaintiff and the judge in the court minutes.

The case began when a petition that court clerk G.Ö. sent to a justice commission about F.T.’s alleged mobbing was considered libelous by the commission, which forwarded it to a prosecutor’s office to file criminal charges.

The petition in question included expressions such as “unstable,” “crazed” and “psychopath,” and G.Ö. was ultimately indicted by a prosecutor for insulting a public official.

F.T. in her capacity as a judge accepted the indictment that demanded up to two years in prison for G.Ö. and subpoenaed G.Ö as well as herself for a hearing slated for May 21.

During the hearing, G.Ö.’s lawyer challenged the judge and called the situation a “legal scandal.”

F.T. agreed to recuse herself and referred the file to a high criminal court to appoint a judge to hear the case.

Özkan Yücel, the head of the İzmir Bar Association, said F.T. should have recused herself as soon as she received the indictment as this was one of the circumstances in which the law clearly prohibits a judge from overseeing a trial.

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