On 6 May 2016, Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 14 sentenced our newspaper’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar to five years and ten months’ imprisonment and our Ankara Representative Erdem Gül to five years’ imprisonment on the count of disclosing the state’s documents that require to be kept confidential in the trial into the intelligence agency trucks. Following cassation review, the Court of Cassation stated in March 2018 that Dündar should receive a jail term of from fifteen to twenty years, while Gül should be acquitted. The second hearing held at Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 14 following the quashment ruling was attended by Erdem Gül and his lawyers Bülent Utku, Tora Pekin and Fikret İlkiz. The hearing was also attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's lawyers Hatice Özay and Sara Duran. Prosecutor Mehmet Yeşilkaya announced his recommendation at the hearing.
It was stated in the recommendation that Gül's report dated 12 June 2015 “The Gendarmerie said they exist” had lost its state secret status following Dündar’s report of 29 May 2015 The components of the offence of disclosing information constituting state secrets for espionage purposes were thus not constituted. Prosecutor Yeşilkaya, noting that Gül's report at issue in the proceedings was based on the investigation documents into the halting of the trucks in Adana, commented, “It is neither clear when Erdem Gül got hold of this information and documents, nor is there any conclusive evidence that he obtained secret documents constituting state secrets through special effort or participated in Dündar's act of acquisition.” Also stating that the proceedings against Gül were instituted later than the four-month period envisaged for bringing prosecution under the Press Law, prosecutor Yeşilkaya sought Gül’s acquittal. Following the prosecutor’s recommendation, the court ruled on the case and ordered Gül’s acquittal.
Organisational aid case continues
When Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 14 issued its ruling in May 2016, it separated the file relating to the charges of aiding an organisation laid against Dündar and Gül and ordered that it be conducted under another case number. This case, in which Gül and Dündar are being prosecuted along with CHP MP Enis Berberoğlu, will continue at Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 14 on Wednesday.