Verdict expected for Turkish journalists on trial for espionage charges

Published May 6th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT
Employees of the Cumhuriyet daily greet their editor-in-chief Can Dundar after being freed from prison pending trial on February 26, 2016 at Cumhuriyet's headquarters in Istanbul. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Employees of the Cumhuriyet daily greet their editor-in-chief Can Dundar after being freed from prison pending trial on February 26, 2016 at Cumhuriyet's headquarters in Istanbul. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

A verdict is expected Friday in the trial of two Turkish journalists who reported on an alleged weapons shipment to rebels in Syria, angering Turkey's government.

Can Dundar is editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet and Erdem Gul is a reporter at the left-wing newspaper. Both could face life in prison on the charges of espionage and working with a terrorist organization.

"We are awaiting the judgement and we are tense," Dundar's lawyer Bulent Utku told dpa by telephone on Thursday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised the pair will pay a "heavy price."

Dundar was recently fined about $10,000 for allegedly insulting Erdogan, when he was prime minister, regarding corruption allegations.

Both Erdogan and the Turkish secret service MIT were named as co-plaintiffs in the current trial.

The trial began amid great public interest on March 25, but the public was excluded on the first day of the trial, leading to criticism.

Dundar and Gul spent three months in jail on remand before the Constitutional Court ordered their release in late February.


© 2022 dpa GmbH

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