After 5 months of trial, the Balıkesir Juvenile Court reached a verdict in the case that investigated the 17-year-old’s libel regarding the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Facebook. The jail sentence of 11 months and 20 days was suspended and the defendant will remain on probation for three years.
PM Erdoğan’s lawyer Ahmet Özel did not show up in court, and sent in a petition to drop the charges. The judge Hacı Dursun Pekin still ruled for a 1.5 year jail sentence, which he increased by 1/6 due to the severity of the libel, which he then reduced by 1/3 in consideration of the defendant’s age. The final sentence of 11 months and 20 days jail term will be thrown out if the defendant does not commit any other offence in the next three years.
The defendant B.K. expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister, but he was indignant when it came to the court. Referring to the current administration’s claims of bringing forth an era of advanced democracy, he said: “I don’t know whether this is advanced democracy, or advanced justice, but an inconsistency is apparent.”
The suspended sentence means that the defendant cannot appeal, but the lawyer Mesut Söylemez is determined to object in the High Criminal Court.