Turkish court rules to release Demirtaş in one case on eve of ECtHR hearing

The Ankara 19th High Criminal Court on Monday ruled to release jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş pending trial, but he was not allowed to leave prison since he had been convicted in another case.

On Sept. 18 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hear a case against Turkey upon the application of Demirtaş’s lawyers.

Although the prosecutor demanded a continuation of his detention, the ruling was made unanimously by the judges. The prosecutor later appealed the decision.

Ironically, the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court had previously rejected a request for release filed by the Kurdish politician based on an ECtHR ruling last year that his pre-trial detention had gone on longer than could be justified.

Demirtaş faces 142 years in prison on allegations of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, the US and Turkey.

In December a regional appeals court upheld a sentence of four years, eight months handed down to Demirtaş for disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Since Demirtaş has been in jail for more than three years, his lawyers can apply for parole, the Turkish media said.

The Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Monday called for the release of their former co-chair Demirtaş.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently accuses HDP politicians of being terrorists due to the party’s alleged links to PKK. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

 

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