Former HDP lawmaker demands acquittal during retrial in Istanbul
DHA PhotosThe retrial of a former lawmaker who was convicted of being a member of a terrorist organization in 2012 started on June 24 in Istanbul.
Sebahat Tuncel, a former deputy of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), attended the hearing at Istanbul’s 10th High Penal Court as a defendant with her 10 lawyers on June 25.
“Opening this case against me is a political decision,” Tuncel said during the hearing. “I demand my acquittal in accordance with the Constitutional Court decision.”
The trial was adjourned to June 30 for prosecutor’s opinion.
Earlier in February, the Turkish Constitutional Court had ruled that Tuncel’s right to be tried fairly and in a reasonable time period had been violated and ordered the retrial. The court also ruled that Tuncel receive 5,000 Turkish liras ($1,880) in damages.
The former HDP lawmaker had been sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison by the Istanbul High Criminal Court in September 2012.
She was detained on Nov. 5, 2006, because she had allegedly attended meetings with leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (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 she was elected in that year’s parliamentary elections.