9 January 2020:
The trial of Cumhuriyet reporter Seyhan Avşar and Sözcü newspaper’s Responsible Managing Editor Necdet Önemli on the charge of “making those involved in the fight against terrorism a target” got under way on 9 January 2020 at the 29th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
The journalists are accused because of a news report titled “Sözcü savcısı sabıkalı çıktı” (Prosecutor in Sözcü trial has criminal record), published in Cumhuriyet’s 6 March 2019 edition.
P24 monitored the hearing, where Avşar presented her defense statement and rejected the accusation. The court ruled to hear Önemli’s defense statement at the next hearing; inquire of the Osmaniye 1st High Criminal Court about the case against the public prosecutor Asım Ekren; and adjourned the trial until 21 May 2020.
6 January 2020:
The first hearing in a trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Seyhan Avşar was accused of “insulting a public official” over a March 2019 report took place on 16 January 2020 at Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Avşar’s report was about two public prosecutors who allegedly took bribes from suspects in criminal investigations.
P24 monitored the hearing. The judge announced her verdict at the end of the hearing, ruling to dismiss the case based on the expiry of the four-month statute of limitations in Turkey’s Press Law.