The arrested co-chair of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has said the prosecutors who filed complaints against him have been arrested for being members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have been orchestrated the July 2016 failed coup attempt.
A case was opened against HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş for “making terror propaganda” on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK) in a speech he made in the southern province of Adana on Oct. 15, 2011, while he was a lawmaker from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The prosecutor has sought up to five years in prison for Demirtaş in the case.
“Deputy Chief Prosecutor Abidin Bozkan, who organized the summary of proceedings sent to the parliament about me from the Adana Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, is under arrest because of the FETÖ investigation,” Demirtaş told a court in a second hearing of the case through the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS) from the in which he is being helped captive in Edirne.
“The summary of proceedings was prepared months after my speech,” he also told the court.
During his defense, Demirtaş also said the lifting of MPs’ immunities was against the constitution.
“The lifting of our immunities didn’t happen with the will of the judiciary, will of the people or the lawmakers. It happened with the orders of the president,” he said.
“We said that we weren’t going to testify for two reasons. This cannot be evaluated as standing up against the state and the judiciary. We stood up against injustice,” he said.
Noting that the cases opened against him and other HDP lawmakers were illegitimate, Demirtaş said the day a summary of proceedings was prepared against him was the day that the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT), Hakan Fidan, was called to testify.
“Fidan’s refusal to go to testify is not standing up against the state and ours is? A summary of proceedings was prepared against our group. Some 90 percent of it was prepared by prosecutors belonging to the Fethullahist structure,” he added.
The court ruled to postpone the prosecution for three years. The case will be dropped if Demirtaş does not commit a similar crime over the next three years.