Yeni Yaşam daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ferhat Çelik, Responsible Editor Aydın Keser and Yeniçağ columnist Murat Ağırel jailed one day after being released
Odatv’s Editor-in-Chief Barış Pehlivan was jailed pending trial by a Criminal Judgeship of Peace on 6 March 2020 in connection with a news report about the burial of a Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) operative killed in Libya.
Pehlivan was included in the criminal investigation into Odatv’s exclusive coverage one day after the news portal’s News Director Barış Terkoğlu and reporter Hülya Kılınç were jailed pending trial on charges of “obtaining documents and information concerning the MIT’s duties and operations,” “facilitating the procurement of documents and information concerning MİT’s duties and operations” and “disclosing the contents of documents and information concerning MİT’s duties and operations” under Article 27 of the Law on the State Intelligence Services and the National Intelligence Organization.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office summoned Pehlivan to the courthouse on 6 March to give his statement. Pehlivan gave his statement to a public prosecutor, who referred him to a Criminal Judgeship of Peace, requesting his imprisonment. The judgeship ruled to jail Pehlivan pending trial on the same charges leveled against Terkoğlu and Kılınç. Pehlivan was sent to the Silivri Prison.
In the meantime, access to Odatv was blocked late on 5 March by a decision of the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK).
Yeni Yaşam editors, Yeniçağ columnist jailed one day after being released
Along with Pehlivan, four other journalists from two other news outlets were summoned by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on 6 March to give their statements as part of the investigation into Odatv’s report.
Yeni Yaşam daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ferhat Çelik, Responsible Editor Aydın Keser, editor Semiha Alankuş and Murat Ağırel, a columnist for Yeniçağ daily, gave statements to a prosecutor as suspects on 6 March as part of separate investigation files. The prosecution referred Çelik, Keser and Ağırel to a criminal judgeship of peace requesting their imprisonment pending trial. Alankuş was released following her statement.
After hearing their statements, the 8th Criminal Judgeship of Peace ruled to release Çelik, Keser and Ağırel under judicial control measures.
However, after the prosecution objected to their release over the weekend, Keser was taken into custody on Sunday while Çelik and Ağırel were summoned to the Istanbul Police Department. After being questioned at the police department, all three were brought to the Istanbul Courthouse, where they made statements once again as part of the same investigation, this time to the 5th Criminal Judgeship of Peace. The judgeship ruled to jail all three pending trial on the charge of “Disclosing the contents of documents and information concerning MİT’s duties and operations.” All three were sent to the Silivri Prison.