Journalist Pelin Ünker has been sentenced to jail over the Paradise Papers investigation after being found to have defamed Turkey’s former prime minister and two of his sons. An Istanbul court sentenced the ICIJ member to imprisonment for 13 months for “defamation and insult.” Ünker, who reported that former prime minister Binali Yildirim and his sons owned companies in Malta in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, was also fined $US1615. Prime minister from May 2016 to July 2018, Yildirim became speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly after the post of Prime Minister was abolished. Following her sentencing, Ünker told ICIJ that she intended to appeal what was an extraordinary but unsurprising court ruling. Ünker said what made the “world first” ruling so remarkable was that the complainants acknowledged that her articles were true.
Posted on: January 9, 2019