Supreme Court of Appeals says Can Dundar should be convicted of espionage
By Ferdi Turkten
Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals overturned on Friday a previous ruling given by an Istanbul court in MIT trucks case.
The court of appeals ruled that Can Dundar, the former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily should be convicted and handed a sentence of 15 to 20 years in jail on charge of “espionage”.
It said that Dundar should be convicted on the charge of “providing information, which is supposed to remain confidential for state’s security, with the purpose of political and military espionage”.
The court also ruled that Erdem Gul, the newspaper’s bureau chief in the capital Ankara, should be acquitted for lack of evidence.
In May, 2016, the 14th High Criminal Court in Istanbul had convicted Dundar and Gul following the publication of images purporting to show arms being transported to Syria in trucks belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, also known as the MIT.
The journalists were convicted in a case linked to searches carried out on MIT trucks on two occasions in January 2014. In May 2015, Cumhuriyet published a story and images claiming to show the discovery of arms in the Syria-bound trucks.
The two defendants were arrested late November 2015 and held in prison until Feb. 26, 2016 when Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that their rights had been violated and ordered their release.
The court of appeals also upheld the acquittal of the duo of charges of attempting to overthrow the government.