On May 26, 2017, on the web site “theblacksea eu,” journalist Craig Shaw published a news article titled “President Erdoğan’s family in secret offshore ship deal” where he stated, “Through offshore companies in the Isle of Man and Malta, the Erdoğans secretly own an oil tanker worth nearly 25 million USD called the Agdash.”
On November 28, 2017, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, at the weekly parliamentary group meeting of his party, disclosed the swift codes and transfer receipts for 15 million dollars allegedly wired by Erdoğan’s son, brother-in-law, father-in-law of his daughter, and executive assistant to the Isle of Man. Craig Shaw’s news story was based on these documents.
Shaw wrote in his article that the Malta Files, concerning the international money transfers by politicians and business people in different countries of the world, included information about Erdoğan family’s companies in the Isle of Man and Malta as well. Malta Files was a project by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) journalism network established by media outlets such as TheBlackSea.eu, Der Spiegel, Le Soir, Mediapart, NRC, El Mundo, Dagens Nyheter, Expresso, L’Espresso, Falter and Politiken, and had been published on May 2017.
On May 28, 2017, Fatih Polat published Shaw’s article in his column on the website of Evrensel newspaper, under the title “What does the Erdoğan family say about these claims?”
Fatih Polat stands trial on charges of “publicly insulting the President” following the completion of an indictment by prosecutor on October 24, 2018.
The third hearing of the case will be held on November 14, 2019.
He was acquitted at the 4th hearing that was held at November 14th, 2019. Presiding Judge, stated that publishing the article on the webpage was within the scope of freedom of communication.