https://ahvalnews.com-Istanbul’s chief public prosecutor has prepared the indictment against jailed Turkish journalist Sedef Kabaş, demanding up to 11 years and 8 months in prison for insulting state officials, daily Sözcü reported on Friday.
Kabaş has been under arrest since Jan. 22 for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while the current indictment is a combined charge of insulting the president and insulting public officials.
The journalist may be sentenced to between 1 year 5 months to 7 years for insulting Erdoğan publicly and repeatedly, and to between 2 years 4 months to 4 years 8 months for two counts of insulting Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu.
In her initial defence statement, Kabaş said she did not intend to insult any official, and was merely using a metaphor to fortify meaning.
“When an ox lives in a palace it does not become king, the palace becomes a sty,” Kabaş had said during a television broadcast, to which Erdoğan responded by saying the journalist would not go unpunished.
Kabaş will face a judge if the indictment is accepted by the court.
In a separate lawsuit, Erdoğan has demanded 250,000 liras ($18,500) in compensation for libel.
Investigations and convictions under Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, insulting the president, have catapulted since Erdoğan took office in 2014. Lawsuits over the crime of insulting the president have increased by 9,000 percent since 2010, according to a 2021 report based on Justice Ministry data.
Visiting the journalist behind bars last week, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairwoman Gülizar Biçer Karaca called for the annulment of Article 299, according to Sözcü.
“Since the 2018 elections, there has been in place an executive presidential system where the president is not neutral. Article 299 still being in force under this system is unacceptable,” Karaca said.
Erdoğan “has it in for me because I once said if he was an economist I was the queen of England,” Kabaş said in a message sent via Karaca.
The journalist has outstanding lawsuits for insulting Erdoğan dating back to 2018.