Odatv Ankara news editor Müyesser Yıldız and TELE1 Ankara representative İsmail Dükel was taken into custody on Monday, June 8, due to allegations on “political and military espionage”.
After 4 days in detention the prosecution office requested their arrest. On June 12, Peace Court Judgeship decided to arrest Müyesser Yıldız and sergeant E.B who was also taken into custody within the same investigation while to release Dükel with the imposition of judicial control measure.
The indictment lodged against Yıldız, Dükel and Baran has been completed. Charging them with “disclosing information that needs to remain confidential for the security or benefits of the state,” the indictment demands 5 years to 10 years in prison for them. Prepared by the Terror Crimes Investigation Bureau on September 23, the indictment has been sent to the Ankara 26th High Criminal Court (September 23).
At the first hearing held at the Ankara 26th High Criminal Court on November 9, 2020, the court has ruled that Yıldız shall be released with an international travel ban; the judicial control measure on Dükel in the form of giving signatures shall be lifted, but his international travel ban shall remain in effect; and the arrest of Baran shall continue. The next hearing will be held on January 6, 2021 (November 9).
At the second hearing held on October 6, 2021, it was understood that a second indictment was lodged against the journalists on charge of “successively obtaining information about the security of the state.” The Presiding Judge indicated that the new indictment was merged with the current case file on December 14, 2020.
Afterwards, the court pronounced its interim judgement. It has ruled that the imprisonment of Erdal Baran shall continue and a report shall be taken about his sanity while it has rejected the requests that Hanefi Avcı and journalists be heard as witnesses and an examination be conducted to find out whether Yıldız’s phone was wiretapped or not. The next hearing will be held on February 5 (January 6).
At the hearing held on February 5, 2021, the court board gave time to the parties to present their statements as to the accusations. It also ruled that the arrest of Erdal Baran should continue and the judicial control measures on Müyesser Yıldız and İsmail Dükel should remain in force. The next hearing will be held on March 8 (February 5).
At the final hearing of on March 8, 2021, the court board ruled that journalist Yıldız should be sentenced to 3 years, 7 months, 10 days in prison in total on charges of “obtaining and disclosing forbidden information as to the security of the state”; 1 year, 1 month and 10 days of the sentence have been deferred. Journalist Dükel has also been sentenced to 1 year, 15 days in prison for “obtaining forbidden information as to the security of the state.” The prison sentence has been deferred (March 8).