Whistleblower Released on Bail

 

Serdinc Maypa released on bail
[Serdinç Maypa released on bail]
Serdinç Maypa, known for his broadcasts on social media, was arrested on Thursday on charges of “invasion of privacy” and appeared before a judge for the second time on Monday, Yeniduzen reports.

 Maypa, who was released pending trial, was applauded by a crowd of supporters in the courthouse courtyard following the decision to release him on bail. 

Addressing his supporters after leaving the court, Maypa stated that many journalists were making publications using documentary evidence. He said that  his arrest was also intended to prevent him from speaking using such evidence. 

He expressed that he was chosen to be a “victim“. Maypa stated that journalists are facing a serious problem and that he is confronted with these accusations in order to prevent news from being made using documentary evidence. Maypa announced that he will continue his live broadcasts on Tuesday or Wednesday, saying, “Let what I reveal be a surprise. I will reveal things you have not heard before. But this time I will speak without documents“.

 Meanwhile, the police presented new findings obtained during the three days Maypa was held  in custody.

 According to these, eight Bangladeshi workers claimed that their “identity information was made visible” in the documents presented by Maypa during a live broadcast. They filed a complaint against Maypa at the Special Investigation Unit in Nicosia. With this, the number of individuals and institutions filing complaints against Maypa increased to 13. 

Police also reported that another new finding was the examination and classification of 226 documents seized from Maypa’s office and home, with 24 of them being determined to consist of private correspondence from different state institutions.

The police also mentioned that the investigation regarding data related to about 1,000 coronavirus patients in Maypa’s possession is ongoing, and the Ministry of Health will also file a criminal complaint against Maypa. Additionally, an investigation will be initiated at the Nicosia State Hospital. In light of all these developments, the police requested that Maypa be held in custody for another four days on the grounds that he could influence the investigation. However, the court stated that Maypa could not influence the investigation and decided to release him on bail.

Police present evidence in court

 Inspector Faysal Güden, who is assigned to the Special Investigation Unit, recounted that Serdinç Maypa was arrested on charges of “invasion of privacy” and “publicising personal data“. The police noted that the suspect was initially arrested based on complaints from the Contractors’ Union, KIB-TEK, the Development Bank, and two different insurance companies. Eight more individuals have filed complaints as well.

The police stated that Maypa was brought before the court and a three-day detention order was obtained, during which time, eight more Bangladeshi workers, whose personal data was violated, filed complaints. The police mentioned that out of the 11 complainants, eight were individuals whom Maypa allegedly claimed would flee abroad while disclosing documents belonging to the Contractors’ Union on March 12. The police reported that an examination of the suspect’s cell phone revealed communication with 2,586 individuals and the discovery of 28,223 photographs. Additionally, the police mentioned that they obtained voice samples related to videos circulating on social media about Maypa.

“24 documents consist of private correspondence from different state institutions”

During the three-day detention period, the police classified and examined the 226 documents seized from Maypa’s office and home, stating that 24 of them consisted of private correspondence from different state institutions. The police also mentioned finding an English document bearing the emblem of the Contractors’ Union among the seized documents, but they stated that this document could be counterfeit. They relayed that during their discussion with the union, it was stated that all correspondence was conducted in Turkish.

“The Ministry of Health will also file a complaint”

The police announced that a separate investigation has been initiated regarding a thousand-page notebook found in Maypa’s house, containing personal information, related to patients hospitalised due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They stated that the Ministry of Health will also file a complaint against Maypa. The police also mentioned that an investigation is underway at the Lefkoşa State Hospital to determine who provided the COVID-19-related documents to Maypa. They added that new arrests might be made concerning accomplices who provided the documents.

The police mentioned that the data dumps related to Maypa’s cell phone are not yet ready, but considering that he communicated with 2,586 individuals, once the data dumps are available, there is a possibility that if released, he could influence the investigation. The police stated that the investigation is ongoing, particularly focusing on how Maypa obtained many of the documents related to government agencies. Therefore, they requested that he be held in custody for another four days.

Serdinç Maypa - arrested
[Serdinç Maypa – arrested]
Lawyer objects to further detention

Maypa’s lawyer, Ünver Bedevi, objected to the request for detention. Bedevi, claiming that Maypa was arrested based on a scenario, argued that his client is a member of the press, has not committed murder, and has revealed the truth in the public interest. Bedevi alleged that attempts were being made to keep his client in detention “by order and instruction“. He stated that nobody cared whether the documents were true or false, and that the only concern of the police was how these documents were obtained, in other words, to find the “mole“. 

Bedevi also stated that Maypa held information about coronavirus cases to reveal quarantine conditions. Bedevi requested Maypa’s release on bail.

The police responded by saying: “Nobody has the right to obtain and disclose others’ personal data” Upon the defence’s allegations, the police stated that nobody has the right, for any reason, to obtain, possess, or disclose others’ personal data, and even those within the police force who obtain personal data are arrested and brought to court.

The judge ordered that Maypa be released on bail pending trial.

The bail conditions were that he should not leave the country, he should report to the authorities once a week and deposit 35,000 TL cash as bail and have two guarantors sign bail bonds of 500,000 TL each.

Yeniduzen

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