Court rules to keep Osman Kavala behind bars

Court rules to keep Osman Kavala behind bars

Court rules to keep Osman Kavala behind bars

An Istanbul court on Jan. 17 ruled to keep Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been in custody for more than four years, in prison.

The Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court held the third hearing of the trial in which 52 defendants were tried after the merger of the Çarşı case, which was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals, and the Gezi Park case, which was overturned by the Court of Appeal. The court decided by a majority of votes to continue Kavala’s detention. The next hearing was adjourned to Feb. 21.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Özgür Özel, Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Ali Şeker, CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu and Osman Kavala’s wife, Ayşe Buğra, attended the hearing.

In addition, the consul general of France, Italy and Belgium, the undersecretary of the European Union ambassador, the U.S. and Norway consular representatives, a deputy from the Netherlands and the Swedish Consul followed the hearing.

Kavala was first arrested after he was accused of financing the 2013 Gezi protests. He was acquitted in February 2020 of charges in connection with the 2013 Gezi Park protests. The businessman was later remanded into custody by an Istanbul court as part of a probe into the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, with prosecutors accusing him of spying.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2019 that Kavala’s rights had been violated and ordered his release. Kavala, who is in Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul, said in October he would no longer attend the trial via videoconference because he no longer had faith that he would receive a just trial.