Upon the personally filed criminal complaint by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, requesting one aggravated life (imprisonment), one life (imprisonment) and 42 years imprisonment for “targeting state interests by using images contrary to facts” a criminal investigation started in relation to the article published with the headline “Here are the weapons Erdoğan claim to not exist” on May 29, with allegations of “procuring information as to state security”, “political and military espionage”, “disclosure of confidential information”, “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member”.
Dündar and Gül were arrested on November 26, 2015.
On 27 January, the indictment was accepted and declared by a press release, requesting one aggravated life imprisonment, one life imprisonment and 30 years of imprisonment, for both journalists.
On 25 February 2016, the Constitutional Court rendered its decision on the application of journalists. It concluded that the detention of journalists was unlawful and found violation of right to security and liberty, right to freedom of expression and freedom of press. Erdoğan condemned the decision of the Constitutional Court. Upon the decision, journalists were released by the first hours of February 26, after 92 days of pre-trial detention.
On the first hearing held on March 25, the Court ruled to hold the hearings without audience further on. On May 3, the prosecution requested 25 years of imprisonment for Can Dündar and 10 years for Erdem Gül.
The decision of first instance court was rendered on May 16. Dündar was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months while Gül was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for “disclosing confidential information of the state”. Acquitted of coup accusations, Gül and Dündar are still on trial on charges of “knowingly and willingly aiding an armed organization as a non-member” through a separated case.
On the same day, Dündar was targeted by an armed attack in front of the courthouse. He was not injured but left the country, immediately.
Penal Department No. 9 of the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the first instance court’s decision and ruled that Dündar’s offence should have been rendered as “procuring information as to state security” which stipulates 15 to 20 years of imprisonment. Further, court ordered and arrest warrant and international red notice for Dündar. The Supreme Court decided on the acquittal of Gül.
İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court separated the case of Dündar and waits for the extradition of Can Dündar to Turkey to continue trial. At the hearing held on 16 July 2018, the court concluded that the information about trucks had already been reported by Can Dündar before Gül’s article was published and therefore the content of Gül’s article could not be considered confidential. In result, the court acquitted Gül.
At the trial held after the decision of Supreme Court on October, 31 the court decided to wait until the the extradition order is applied and adjourned the trial until March 19.