Istanbul Court rejects defamation and slander accusations against journalist Pelin Unker

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A court in Istanbul has rejected  “defamation and slander through press” charges against freelance journalist Pelin Unker, who also works as a contributor for DW.

The presiding judge said that the case would be dismissed due to the statute of limitations specified in the Turkish Press Law. Talking to DW correspondent Julia Hahn, Unker said the trials against reporters “are aimed at intimidating us.” “I feel relieved,” Unker said, “but there’s a bitter taste to it.”

Journalist Pelin Ünker was in Malta on an invitation by Partit Nazzjonalista MEP David Casa where she attended an event organised by the MEP and the vigil, which was held last month at the Great Siege Monument demanding justice for the assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

Background: Unker was facing slander charges filed by Minister of Finance and Treasury Berat Albayrak, his brother Serhat Albayrak, and businessman Ahmet Calik, over reports on the trio allegedly using tax havens. On Thursday, Unker’s lawyer Abbas Yalcin claimed the indictment against the reporter took longer than four months to prepare. This is the maximum period under Turkish law. His motion for dismissal was eventually accepted by Judge Nursel Bedir. In a separate case in January, a court in Istanbul sentenced Unker to 13 months and 15 days in prison, along with a fine of 8,600 Turkish lira (€1379, $1,549) for “insulting and slandering a public official.”

Via DW / Newsbook

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