The verdict has been announced in the hearing in which Cumhuriyet daily’s Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar, and its Ankara Representative Erdem Gül are being heard over their National Intelligence Agency (MİT) Trucks reports.
The President of the court, Canel Rüzgar has condemned the attack against Can Dündar adding “We condemn this coward attack. We, as the board of judges were all astonished. We strongly condemn it.
İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court board has sentenced Dündar to seven and Gül to six years in prison in accordance with 329/1 of the Turkish Penal Code (Unclosing documents concerning the security of the State). After abatements, Dündar’s sentence has been reduced to 5 years and 10 months, and Gül’s sentence to 5 years.
The court has also ruled to
* To lift the prohibition to leave the country for the journalists,
* To deny the journalists their right to vote and political rights,
* To acquit the journalists of accusations of trying to overthrow the government due to lack of connection between the date of publishing the report, purpose and medium.
* to separate the case with regards to the charges of helping the FETÖ/PYD (Fettulahist Terrorist Organization / Democratic Union Party [Syria] )
With this respect, the court has phrased in its verdict that;
There was no final judgement which confirmed the existence of the FETÖ/PYD organization, and judgement should not be passed based on charges of helping such an organization the existence of which could not be confirmed. The court has announced that the investigations into the FETÖ/PYD organization continued and thus ordered to separate the files and later attach it when the investigation was completed.
The court has not ruled the arrest of the journalists.
The journalist will go for an appeal.
What had happened?
Prosecution was started as to the article published with the headline “Here are the weapons Erdoğan claim to not exist” on May 29 over “Procuring information as to state security”, “Political and military espionage”, “Declaring confidential information”, “Propagandizing terror organization”.
Chief Public Prosecutor Hadi Salihoğlu had declared the prosecution by press release.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had personally filed a criminal complaint and requested Dündar to be sentenced to one aggravated life imprisonment, one life imprisonment and 42 years in prison for “targeting state interests by using images contrary to facts”.
Erdoğan on a live broadcast on public channel TRT had said, "I guess the person who made this special news will heavily pay for it".
Dündar and Gül had been imprisoned as of November 26.
Upon their objection against arrest being rejected, they had made an appeal to the Constitutional Court over “violation of freedom of press and speech and the right to security”.
Upon reporter of the Constitutional Court delivering the opinion that “freedom of press and expression, right to personal security have been violated, their imprisonment is unlawful” as to Gül and Dündar’s application, Gül and Dündar’s file had been referred to the Constitutional Court General Assembly.
Constitutional Court General Assembly has ruled journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül imprisoned as of November 26 over MİT truck report subjected to violation of right.
14th Heavy Penal Court has ruled release of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül following the “violation of rights” verdict by the Constitutional Court.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has commentated on the Constitutional Court’s ruling to release the journalists Gül and Dündar as “I don’t obey the court decision. I don’t respect it either”.
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