Ahmet Altan is standing trial on allegations of “violating the confidentiality of investigation” and “attempting to influence the fair trial principle,” for his article “Mafyanın Dışında Kim Kaldı” (“Who Remains Out of the Mafia”) published in Taraf Newspaper on July 11, 2009.
In his article, Altan discussed an anti-“gang” operation by the Sakarya Police Department in the district of Akyazı. He claimed that the “gang” members investigated by the police were indeed relatives of the mayor of Akyazı, who was from AKP, and that Sakarya Police Chief Faruk Ünsal had informed the “gang” members that an operation was being launched against them.
In July 2009, the Sakarya Public Prosecutor’s Office started an investigation against Altan upon a complaint filed by Sakarya Police Chief Faruk Ünsal. In the indictment against Altan, completed on September 4, 2019, the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years pursuant to Article 285 of the Turkish Penal Code. Furthermore, he demanded that Altan be imposed a judicial fine under Article 288 of the Turkish Penal Code.
The Kadıköy Second Criminal Court of First Instance accepted the indictment. However, the investigation against Altan was suspended. Nonetheless, the case was later reopened when Altan was imposed a judicial fine in a separate case for “Insulting the President of the Republic.”
With the reopening of the case, the trial began at Istanbul Anadolu Second Criminal Court of First Instance. The first hearing of the trial took place on April 12, 2019, about 10 years after the indictment was drafted.
Judge Lokman Kazan informed Ahmet Altan that the charges of “attempting to influence the fair trial principle” could be dropped if he agreed to pay 1061 TL; however, Altan refused.
The next trial will be held on November 12, 2019.