An investigation was launched against Hazal Ocak, the reporter who penned the news entitled “Damat işini biliyor” [Son-in-law (of President Erdoğan, Berat Albayrak) knows what to do] in Cumhuriyet newspaper on January 20, 2020 about the land purchased by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak near the planned route of Kanal Istanbul on the grounds of “insulting a public official.”
The news has been blocked by Istanbul Criminal Judgeship of Peace (15 February).
On March 6, the first indictment against journalist was issued. The Prosecution Office have rejected the indictment on the ground that the offense was committed via press which necessitates longer prison sentence. On March 31, İstanbul 2nd Criminal accepted the indictment. The trial will start on June 18.
Lawyers did not attend the hearing to be held on June 18, demanding to be excused due to the coronavirus pandemic. The court accepted the excuses of the parties, and examined the file.
The next trial will be held on October 27 (18 June).
At the hearing held on October 27, 2020, the prosecutor announced the opinion as to the accusations. Indicating that the news report in question should be considered within freedom of press, the prosecutor demanded the acquittal of the journalist. The court has concluded that the elements of the offense charged did not arise and ruled that journalist Hazal Ocak shall be acquitted (October 27).