While journalist Derya Okatan was the Managing Editor of the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), a news report was published by ETHA titled “Mersin Women’s Platform: We expose harasser lawyer Onur Kale” on May 1, 2016.
After the news report was published by the news agency, the aforementioned lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Derya Okatan, the responsible managing editor of the agency, on charges of “insult” and “libel”.
The complaint submitted to the Mersin Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ended in a decision of non-jurisdiction and sent to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The decision was taken on the grounds that the agency was based in İstanbul. The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office gave a decision on “non-prosecution.” However, the lawyer appealed against this decision by applying to the İstanbul 14th Criminal Judgeship of Peace. The court rejected the lawyer’s appeal. The lawyer then appealed to the 8th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, demanding “reversal for the sake of law”. The chamber found the appeal justified and reversed the decision of the İstanbul 14th Criminal Judgeship of Peace.
Upon the reversal of the 8th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, a new investigation was launched against Okatan and an indictment was lodged against the journalist by the Press Crimes Investigation Bureau of the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on September 9, 2019. The indictment was accepted by the İstanbul 39th Criminal Court of First Instance.
At the first hearing of the trial held on February 20, 2020, the attorney of Derya Okatan, living in Ankara, said that a written notification was not delivered to Okatan about the hearing.
The second hearing scheduled for April 16 was adjourned until September 24 as part of novel coronavirus measures (April 16).
The third hearing scheduled for September 24 was also adjourned without holding the hearing as the judge was on leave.
The fourth hearing to be held on January 26, 2021 was adjourned until a later date as the judge of the hearing was on leave (January 26).
At the hearing held on July 6, 2021, the prosecutor pronounced the final opinion as to the accusations and demanded Okatan’s acquittal. The next hearing will be held on December 16 (July 6).
The hearing was not held because the judge was on leave; the hearing has been adjourned (December 16).
At the hearing held on May 31, the court concluded that there was no intent or negligence and Okatan was acquitted of all charges (May 31).