Turk­ish court ig­nores call for re­lease of busi­ness­man

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Silivri, Tur­key - A Turk­ish court on Tues­day ig­nored calls to re­lease a busi­ness­man charged with seek­ing to over­throw Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s gov­ern­ment, de­spite a rul­ing by Europe’s top rights body.

Os­man Kavala, a lead­ing fig­ure in Tur­key’s civil so­ci­ety who has funded projects across the coun­try, has been in pre-trial de­ten­tion since Novem­ber 2017.

Turk­ish prose­cu­tors ac­cuse him and 15 other lead­ing fig­ures in civil so­ci­ety of in­volve­ment in anti-Er­do­gan protests in 2013 and the failed coup in 2016.

Kavala dis­missed the charges as ‘com­pletely ground­less’, ac­cord­ing to a cor­re­spon­dent in court.

“The 657-page in­dict­ment... proves I am in­no­cent rather than guilty,” he told the court.

“I de­mand this un­law­ful and dis­crim­i­na­tory prac­tice that placed me in prison for two years come to an end,” he added.

The Turk­ish court in Silivri in the out­skirts of Istanbul set the next hear­ing for Jan­uary 28.

The crowd ap­plauded Kavala as he was led from the court­room, salut­ing his sup­port­ers.

Two weeks ago, the Stras­bourg-based Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights (ECHR) urged Tur­key to ‘take ev­ery mea­sure to put an end’ to Kavala’s de­ten­tion and ‘to se­cure his im­me­di­ate re­lease’.

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