Barış İnce, a former editor of Birgün who still writes for the leftist daily, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for “insulting” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his plea submitted to court in a former case.
İnce was initially tried over a news report on the Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption allegations, which Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) say amounted to a plot to overthrow the government.
A criminal case was filed against İnce for “insulting” Erdoğan and his son, Bilal Erdoğan, in the report. İnce was again sued over the plea presented to court in his defense, in which the initials of each paragraph spell out “thief,” in apparent reference to Erdoğan.
In his defense, İnce claimed that it was either an unfortunate coincidence or the “work of God,” but the court sentenced him to 21 months in jail.
He will appeal his sentence at the Constitutional Court.