Parliament Speaker Yıldırım says journalist Ünker not sentenced to jail for reporting

Sevil Erkuş – ANKARA

Journalist Pelin Ünker, who was sentenced to over a year in jail over a series of “Paradise Papers” reports published on Cumhuriyet newspaper about offshore companies that allegedly belonged to former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s sons on the tax-haven island of Malta, was not sentenced over her journalistic activities, Yıldırım, now speaker of parliament, said on Jan. 10.

“There is no journalistic activity in those articles, but defamation,” he said in his meeting with parliament correspondents to mark Jan. 10 Working Journalists’ Day.

Her reports claim the former prime minister had evaded taxes over offshore companies. “This is a serious allegation for a prime minister,” he said, adding that he refuted those claims with documents.

“Remaining silent would be endorsing those allegations,” he said in the series of accusations that “targets and slanders” him based on “insubstantial” claims, Yıldırım said.

Paradise Papers are leaked confidential documents unveiling off-shore accounts of politicians,

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