Evrensel reporter’s trial for printing prosecutor's name adjourned until 25 March

6 March 2019

The trial of Evrensel daily’s court reporter Cansu Pişkin, where she faces up to three years for “disclosing identity of a public official involved in counterterrorism duty,” was adjourned until 25 March 

İstanbul - First hearing of the case where Evrensel’s court reporter Cansu Pişkin stands trial was held at İstanbul 36th High Criminal Court today.

The journalist faces charges of “revealing identity of a public official involved in counterterrorism efforts” for printing the name of the prosecutor assigned to the case of Boğaziçi University students, who were arrested on terrorism propaganda charges for holding an anti-war protest against Turkey’s incursion into Syria. The concerned news story was published in Evrensel daily on 5 April 2018. 

Although the name of the prosecutor appeared in several pro-government newspapers as well, the prosecutor seeks up to three years of imprisonment for Pişkin for disclosing the name. The reporter's lawyer Levent Pişkin noted that under Turkish code, prosecutors are not considered “public officials.”

The court rejected the lawyers' demands to dismiss the case on the grounds that the statute of limitations on the news story has expired and adjourned the trial until 25 March following the defendant's request for extra time to prepare her defense. 

In 2015, a chief prosecutor was taken hostage and later shot dead by the members of an outlawed armed group. Since then, accusations based on printed names of prosecutors and/or witnesses against journalists have increased in number. In July 2018, court reporter Canan Coşkun, who worked for the Cumhuriyet daily at the time, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison for mentioning the name of a witness in a criminal investigation in a news story published in September 2017.