Police denied existence of secret witness whose statements were used in indictment

The Mardin provincial police department denied the existence of a secret witness named “Dicle,” whose statements were used in an indictment against two persons facing life sentences.

According to the Mesopotamia News Agency, secret witness Dicle’s statements were used as evidence against M.Z.Ç. and his friend H.B. in a case in which co-mayors of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and some members and officials of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the HDP’s sister organization, are standing trial.

The Mardin Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into M.Z.Ç. and his friend H.B. on charges of damaging public property, possession of dangerous substances, threatening the unity of the state, attempted murder of a public official and disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization. M.Z.Ç.’s vehicle that was stolen in 2016 was found in 2018 in Nusaybin during curfew with explosives placed inside.

Secret witness Dicle allegedly stated: “M.Z.Ç. told the members of the [terrorist] organization in the district that he possessed a wrecked car that could be fixed and used however they saw fit. The vehicle was later used in a bomb attack, and the defendant provided the vehicle willingly to the members of the [terrorist] organization.”

The indictment was drafted by public prosecutor Nurettin Güner on March 25, 2020 and was accepted by the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court. Following a request from the lawyers for the defendants, the court decided to hear the secret witness again and notified the provincial police department. The police department responded to the writ stating that no information or documents could be found regarding a secret witness with the code name “Dicle.” They also said a secret witness file in the name of Dicle could not be found in the archives of the witness protection department.

Similar incidents were also reported before in Mardin regarding indictments prepared by the same public prosecutor against politicians from the HDP and DBP. It was revealed that a secret witness named “Malazgirt” whose statements were included in the indictment did not exist. Moreover, it was shown that the original statements of a secret witness named “Boksör” could not be found and that he was never put into witness protection.

According to a report released by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) the Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared at least 332 curfews in 11 provinces and at least 50 districts from August 16, 2015, to October 1, 2018 in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern part of Turkey.

Ankara accuses the pro-Kurdish HDP of links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed secessionist group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

The controversial practice of removing and arresting mayors was also widely implemented during Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency following an attempted coup in 2016.

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