Reporters Can Dundar, Erdem Gul sentenced to five years

Prominent journalists convicted of revealing state secrets over report about alleged government arms shipments to Syria.

Attack to Can Dundar
The verdict came shortly after Dundar escaped an assassination attempt [EPA]

Two Turkish journalists have been sentenced to at least five years in prison for revealing state secrets.

Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, was given five years and 10 months in jail and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, was handed a five-year term.

The two journalists were charged over a report about alleged government arms shipments from Turkey to Syrian rebels.

They were acquitted of a number of charges, including trying to topple the government and espionage.

The court separated charges of links to terrorist organisations to await a verdict in a separate trial and the pair wil not immediately go to prison.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the ruling, saying Dundar and Gul were “unjustly sentenced”.

“But what was really on trial was the Turkish criminal system, which is guilty of gross misconduct,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.

The prison terms were announced shortly after Dundar evaded an assassination attempt on him outside the court on Friday.

The assailant reportedly yelled “traitor” before opening fire, hitting another journalist who had been covering the trial.

“That someone shot at Dundar outside the court put Turkey’s instability into stark relief,” Simon added.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies