Journalists, lawyers and other members of Cumhuriyet Newspaper are standing trial with terror related charges.
Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Musa Kart, Güray Öz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay, Bülent Utku, Önder Çelik and Hakan Karasinir was detained on 31 October 2016, for allegedly being associated with PKK/KCK and FETO/PDY terrorist organizations. On 4 November 2016, they were arrested and sent to prison.
An arrest warrant was issued for Akın Atalay and he was arrested on 12 November 2016, after he returned from Germany.
Ahmet Şık was arrested on 31 December for allegedly making propaganda of FETÖ in his social media accounts.
On 18 April 2017 the indictment was accepted and the first hearing was held on 24 July 2017.
Verdict has been rendered in Cumhuriyet trial: 15 people have been sentenced in total to 81 years and 45 days in prison while three people have been acquitted.
Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay has been released on the eighth hearing held by İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court. Atalay was acquitted of “malpractice” and sentenced to 7 years 3 months and 15 days of imprisonment on the charge of “aiding a terrorist organization”. Atalay was released after the first degree court rendered its decision.
On 19 February, the Court of Appeal have upheld the decision of the first instance court.
Meanwhile on May 2, the Constitution Court have found no violation in the case of Akın Atalay.
On July 18, upon the appeal of journalists, the Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor’s Office demanded the prison sentences of Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay, former Executive Board Chair Orhan Erinç, Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, Executive Board member and columnist Hikmet Çetinkaya and columnist Aydın Engin be reversed. The Prosecutor’s Office has requested their acquittal.
16th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals decided on the reversal of the inferior court’s decision of conviction and ruled to halt the execution of the sentence as well as the release of journalist. The case is sent back to 27th High Criminal Court.
After the Court of Cassation overturned the verdicts of conviction in Cumhuriyet case, the retrial of former Cumhuriyet employees started at the İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court on November 21. The court has ruled that Kadri Gürsel shall be acquitted while it has upheld the conviction of all other defendants.
With the İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court defying the Court of Cassation verdict of reversal, the case will now be heard by the General Assembly for Criminal Matters of Court of Cassation (21 November).