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Court acquits journalist Çağrı Sarı during Paradise Papers trial

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Evrensel daily’s former Managing Editor Çağrı Sarı is acquitted during the trial where she was accused of reporting on Paradise Papers.

İstanbul – Former Minister of Energy Berat Albayrak and his brother Serhat Albayrak had filed a lawsuit against Evrensel daily’s former Managing Editor Çağrı Sarı, claiming that she has attacked their personal rights and committed slander and defamation while reporting on Paradise Papers. Çağrı Sarı was acquitted from slander and defamation charges today.

The court acquitted Sarı during the sixth hearing of the trial, which was held at Bakırköy 2nd Criminal Court of the First Instance on the grounds that the elements of the imputed crime have not been constituted.

What happened?

Following the news stories about Paradise Papers, which revealed the off-shore accounts of many politicians and business people across the world, including those of Turkish government officials and their relatives, many lawsuits were filed against journalists in Turkey. Minister of Energy Berat Albayrak and his brother, and former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and his son Serkan Yıldırım had filed lawsuits against Evrensel daily’s former Managing Editor Çağrı Sarı, Evrensel cartoonist Sefer Selvi, and Cumhuriyet daily’s former Financial Editor and reporter Pelin Ünker. Journalist Ünker received a 1 year 1 month 15 days prison sentence and the court also ruled that Ünker must pay non-pecuniary damages of 8600 Turkish Liras (approx. 1385 Euros). In a separate case, the court ruled that cartoonist Selvi must pay damages of 5000 Turkish liras (approx. 805 Euros) to both Binali Yıldırım and his son separately, on account of “attacking their personal rights.”