An Istanbul court sentenced Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül to five years in prison for “leaking state secrets” on May 6, hours after Dündar escaped unharmed from an armed attack in front of Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse.
Dündar, the daily’s editor-in-chief, was given five years and 10 months for "leaking state secrets" while the paper’s Ankara
bureau chief, Gül, was given five years on the same charge. However, the duo will not immediately go to prison.
Meanwhile, the Istanbul 14th Court of Serious Crimes ordered the journalists' acquittal over “coup attempt” charges.
It also ordered the separation of charges regarding "knowingly aiding the armed terror group FETÖ/PDY [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure]" from the men’s case given that the former has not yet concluded.
In addition, a ban on leaving the country for the two was also lifted.
Dündar said there were "two assassination" attempts – “one with a gun, one of which was legal.”
"All of us have to be brave," Dündar told reporters after the verdict.
Gül also said the attack on Dündar outside the court resembled the attack on human rights lawyer and Diyarbakır
Bar Association head Tahir Elçi, who was killed during clashes between police and unknown perpetrators on Nov. 28, 2015.
Meanwhile, the chief judge also condemned the armed attack against Dündar as he announced the verdict.
During the break, the assailant, identified as Murat Şahin, who was born in 1976 and registered in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, approached Dündar as he was speaking to reporters during the break. He fired two shots at Dündar’s legs, saying, “You are a traitor.” The assailant was detained while Dündar was uninjured.
Dündar and Gül were on trial for “leaking state secrets” due to stories published about Turkish intelligence trucks bound for Syria with hidden weapons in early 2014. They were arrested on Nov. 26, 2015, and released on Feb. 26 following a Constitutional Court decision.