Local court rejects appeal for the release of former HDP co-chair Demirtaş
An appeal for the release of former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, which is filed by his lawyers after the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that objected to the politician’s detention, was rejected by Ankara 7th Criminal Court of Peace on Dec. 26.
The local court has rejected the request for his release on the grounds that there was no change in the legal status of the suspect and has ordered the continuation of Demirtaş’s detention.
In the court’s decision, it was stated that the defense lawyers of the suspect attached the English version of the ECHR’s ruling to the petition requesting the release of Demirtaş.
The court said it has yet to receive the translation of the ECHR from the Justice Ministry. Therefore, the decision of the ECHR is not “suitable for legal review, as it is not known for which application and which crimes the decision of the ECHR is,” the local court said.
Last week, the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg-based court ruled that Demirtaş, who is behind bars since November 2016 on terror charges, should be released immediately as his rights have been violated under five different categories, including freedom of expression and liberty.
The court has also urged Turkey to take all necessary measures for the release of Demirtaş and ruled that Ankara should pay “3,500 euros [$4,264] in respect of pecuniary damage, 25,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and 31,900 euros in respect of costs and expenses.”
Demirtaş, who is charged with terrorism-related offenses, faces a sentence of up to 142 years in prison if convicted of “being the leader of a terrorist organization” over his actions during protests in 2014 that turned violent and led to the death of 37 people.