The “Kobanî trial” continued at the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court in Sincan Prison Courthouse in the capital city today (June 14).
There are 108 defendants from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP); while 28 people have been arrested pending trial, there are judicial control measures on six people and warrants against 75 people.
In the trial over the “Kobanî protests of October 6-8, 2014”, politicians face life imprisonment aggravated for 38 times.
‘The aim of the investigation is political’
Today’s hearing started at around 10.30 in the morning. The hearing was followed by HDP Co-Chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar, HDP MPs, party executives, lawyers and bar association chairs.
The attorneys’ appeals against the rejection of their request for recusal had been rejected by the upper court.
The attorneys of the defendants made their statements as to this rejection.
Taking the floor at the hearing, attorney Günizi Satar said, “The inquiry report prepared by the security in 2015 laid the ground for the indictment of the Kobanî case, which was accepted by the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court on January 8, 2021. From 2015 to the approval of the indictment by the court, nothing was added to the file apart from this security report.”
Attorney Maviş Aydın also stated, “Even though no new information or documents necessitating the extension of the investigation against new people was added to the file, Prosecutor Ahmet Altun launched an inquiry based on a list, which is not known where and by whom it was prepared, which shows that the investigation has a political aim.”
Attorney Kenan Maçoğlu demanded an inquiry into the person who appointed the prosecutor of the investigation and for what purpose.
‘Document forgotten in the file now in records’
As shared by the official social media account opened by the HDP Central Office to inform the public about the case, attorney Maçoğlu added:
“We request that a writ be written to the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) to ask the reason why the appointment of Prosecutor Ahmet Altun, who was appointed as the Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of İzmir, was cancelled. There are some people whispering in the prosecutor’s ear.
“Writing to Bingöl, Bitlis, Patnos, he is looking for informants for himself. These efforts remain inconclusive. Until [former HDP Co-Chairs Figen] Yüksekdağ and [Selahattin] Demirtaş were arrested, the prosecutor could not present any evidence to the file or find an anonymous witness.
“You accepted such a serious indictment, but did not ask how the anonymous witness was found, how his or her statement was taken. We want this to be asked to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
“As soon as Prosecutor Ahmet Altun was included in this file, he asked for Demirtaş’s defense for October 6-9. He is also the prosecutor of the hearing at the Ankara 19th Heavy Penal Court. We want an inquiry into who appointed Ahmet Altun and for what purpose.
“The prosecutor forgot a document in the file. And you apparently accepted it without examining it. It has been fortunately put on the records now, there is no longer the chance to make it disappear. The hand interfering in the investigation says the following in this document: ‘Work on this file and lay the ground for the indictment of closure against the HDP’.”
‘HDP cannot be accused of violence’
Attorney Zeynep Sedef Özdoğan reminded the court board that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) considered the tweets posted by the HDP to be within “freedom of thought.” She said, “Street is a site of protest and it is guaranteed by the Constitution. The call for taking to the street and exercising democratic rights cannot be considered a crime.”
Noting that the HDP cannot be accused of violence, attorney Özdoğan further stated, “HDP is trying to resolve the Kurdish question, which cannot be resolved for decades, by means of the Parliament.”
Attorney Benan Molu also said that “the trial is aimed at silencing the second biggest opposition party of Turkey” and drew attention to the ECtHR rulings. She noted that most of the acts put on trial in the Kobanî case consist of freedom of expression and press statements.
The court board demanded the prosecutor’s opinion to evaluate the attorneys’ requests and recessed the hearing till 2 p.m. local time in Turkey.
The attorneys’ requests rejected
Presenting the requested opinion to the court board, the prosecutor argued that “the defense attorneys, by constantly taking the floor to speak and coming to the file at times, misused their right of defense.” The prosecutor also claimed that the court board was managing the hearing poorly and demanded that the requests of the attorneys be rejected.
Announcing its interim ruling, the court board ruled that “the petition submitted by Kerem Gökalp should be asked for, as requested; that a writ should be written to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office by adding a copy of the undated document to ask whether the related document had any connection with the file or not; that the requests of the attorneys should be rejected; and that the hearing should continue with the defense statements of the defendants, starting with the statement of Ayhan Bilgen.”
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