A lawsuit was filed against shutdown Özgür Gündem newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin and Managing Editor Reyhan Çapan on charge of “publishing in such a way to disclose the identities of victims or perpetrators of crimes under the age of 18 or to make them identifiable” as per the Article 21/c of the Press Law no. 5187.
Standing retrial on the offense charged at the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, Keskin and Çapan had been faced with five separate indictments over five news reports published in Özgür Gündem newspaper in 2013-2014 on the grounds that news were reported in such a way to disclose the identity of 14-year-old Berkin Elvan, who lost his life after being hit with a tear gas canister fired by the police in İstanbul during Gezi Park protests in 2013.
On March 7, 2019, the court board ruled that Eren Keskin and Reyhan Çapan should be sentenced to pay a judicial fine of 10,416 Turkish Lira (TRY) each.
Examining the appeal against this ruling, the 19th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation found the sentences low and overturned the local court ruling on October 12, 2020.
However, the trial was held in the simple trial procedure, which was introduced as part of the Judicial Reform on January 1, 2020. Examining the trial on the file, the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance handed down its ruling on April 2, 2021 and ruled that Keskin and Çapan should be sentenced to pay a judicial fine of 7,812 TRY each. The lawyers of Keskin and Çapan appealed against this ruling handed down with the Simple Trial Procedure. Consequently, the trial was held in the general trial method and following the reversal of the Court of Cassation, the retrial of Keskin and Çapan began.
At the second hearing of the retrial on November 18, 2021, the lawyers of Keskin and Çapan were not present as they had offered an excuse. The court ruled that the deficiencies should be rectified. The next hearing will be held on December 23 (November 18).