Turkish riot police take position in Istanbul in front of a courthouse
Istanbul - Arab Today
A Turkish court on Tuesday acquitted a prominent female journalist of charges of "targeting a public servant" over a tweet suggesting a cover-up in a corruption scandal that shook the government.
Sedef Kabas, a broadcast journalist and anchorwoman on the CNN-Turk channel, had been briefly detained in January for posting the tweet and faced up to five years in jail on charges of "targeting a public servant tasked with fighting against terrorism."
An Istanbul court acquitted Kabas on the basis that the tweet did not constitute a crime, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website Tuesday.
"Do not forget the name of the prosecutor who dismissed the December 17 case," Kabas had written on Twitter, including the name and the picture of the prosecutor.
She was referring to the corruption probe launched in December 2013 that is blamed by the authorities on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's top foe, exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Erdogan managed to stall the corruption investigation by sacking thousands of police and scores of judges and pushing through laws tightening state control over the judiciary and the Internet including bans of Twitter and YouTube.
There has been growing concern about deteriorating press freedoms under Erdogan, in particular over the numbers of journalists facing legal proceedings on accusations of insulting top officials.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Turkey 149th out of 180 in its 2015 press freedom index released last month, warning of a "dangerous surge in censorship".