The public prosecutor's office in Stuttgart has launched an investigation into five journalists for disclosing secrets and violating laws on the press.
The office's spokesman, Jan Holzner, said the five journalists are accused of exposing state secrets and violating press laws. A documentary called "Fatal Exports – How the G36 came to Mexico" and the book "Network of Deaths" are the works that put the journalists on the prosecutor's radar. Even though the works were awarded with the Grimme-Prize, the journalists could be tried following the investigation.
The documentary and book are about weapons shipments from the weapons company Heckler & Koch to Mexico. "It is our duty and task to publish information," said filmmaker Daniel Harrich, who could be prosecuted along with four of his colleagues.
A similar case is currently taking place in Turkey where Cumhuriyet daily Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, the paper's Ankara bureau chief, were arrested on charges of espionage. Dündar and Gül were charged with "providing documents regarding security of the state," "political and military espionage," "releasing secret documents" and "propaganda for a terror organization." They are currently standing trial.
Cumhuriyet published documents regarding an illegal search conducted on trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The trucks were stopped in early January 2014 in Adana province, while they were carrying supplies to Turkmens in the Bayırbucak region in Latakia in northern Syria, according to government officials.The raid on the trucks was allegedly carried out by officials linked with the controversial Gülen Movement with the purpose of undermining the government's reputation in the international arena. An investigation was launched into the raid, and while the investigation was underway, Cumhuriyet and later several other media institutions unlawfully published footage of the contents found in the trucks during the raid.