Court acquits former HDP deputy of being outlawed terror group member
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoA former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy has been acquitted of charges of being a member of an outlawed terrorist organization.
Istanbul’s 10th Court of Serious Crimes acquitted former MP Sebahat Tuncel of charges of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on July 7.
The court said in its verdict that “concrete, certain, convincing evidence on Tuncel that is beyond suspicion could not be found,” and thus ruled for her acquittal.
At a June 25 hearing of the retrial, Tuncel had said that “opening this case against me is a political decision,” adding that she demanded her acquittal in accordance with an earlier Constitutional Court ruling.
Back in February, Turkey’s Constitutional Court had ruled that Tuncel’s right to a fair trial and in a reasonable time period had been violated and ordered the retrial. It also ruled that Tuncel be given 5,000 Turkish Liras ($1,880) in damages.
The retrial started on June 24.
The former HDP lawmaker had been sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison by the Istanbul’s 10th Court of Serious Crimes in September 2012, which was approved by the Court of Appeals in December 2013.
She was detained on Nov. 5, 2006 for allegedly attending meetings with leaders of the PKK, which Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union list as a terrorist organization.
Tuncel was then put on trial on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization.”
On July 24, 2007, however, she was released after securing parliamentary immunity for being elected in that year’s general election as an independent MP.