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Turkish journalists' trial adjourned after courtroom brawl

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] The trial of five Turkish journalists [JURIST report] accused of insulting Turkey's judiciary and trying to influence the courts through their articles has been adjourned to April 11. The court ordered the postponement Tuesday after a fight erupted between the two nationalist lawyers that supported the trial of the journalists. The five are charged under the controversial Article 301 of the Turkish penal code [AI backgrounder] that involves insults against the state or "the public denigration of Turkish identity" for writing articles that criticized a court decision in September 2005 to stop a conference in Istanbul on the mass killings of Armenians by Turks during World War I. The trial is significant in light of Turkey's bid for European Union membership [JURIST report], as the EU [official website] continues to push for greater freedom of expression and judicial reforms in Turkey. Last month similar state slander charges were dropped [JURIST report] against well-known Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, a development hailed as 'good news' [JURIST report] by the EU. The Independent has more.

Angela Onikepe is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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