Court declines Demirtaş’s demand for release in Kobane trial, cites risk of ‘fleeing, committing crime’

News About Turkey - NAT
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The Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court has declined renowned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş’s demand for release on the grounds that there is a “risk of him fleeing and committing crime.”

The court therefore ruled for the continued arrest of Demirtaş and other Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) politicians who are jailed in the Kobane trial, according to reporting by the online news outlet T24.

The court also gave a mere 27 days to the defendants for their defense with regards to the prosecutor’s 5,267-page-long final sentencing opinion (“esas hakkındaki mütalaa”). Accordingly, the defense of the HDP politicians will start on July 28.

Some 108 defendants, 18 of whom are jailed including former HDP co-chairs Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, are facing several charges in the trial over the 2014 Kobane protests. They are accused of organizing and inciting violence despite not being involved in carrying out violent acts.

The Ankara court also touched upon the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s call for Demirtaş’s immediate release, arguing that the ongoing case is not related to the ECHR’s decision.

As for why there is a “risk” of Demirtaş fleeing Turkey if released, the court made a reference to a previous interview of the renowned politician and his remarks about his brother Nurettin Demirtaş.

“When he (Nurettin Demirtaş) was a university student, he got into jail. He spent half of his life in prison. He wanted to get into democratic politics; he went into a party and became its co-chair. The judicial oppression came to a point where he could no longer conduct politics. They have given very heavy penalties to him and opened several cases. We did not wish him to spend years in prison once again. He is now living in Erbil. Not just him, but thousands of people are made to live in exile,” Demirtaş had said in 2015.

The court also said that there is a risk of Demirtaş “damaging justice’s good will if released” and “committing crime and damaging the public order.”

Source:Duvar English

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