Opposition HDP co-chair Demirtaş to appear in court 10 months after being arrested
DİYARBAKIRSelahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), will appear in court for the first hearing in his case on Sept. 6, 10 months after his arrest.
Demirtaş was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 as part of an investigation launched by the chief public prosecutor’s office in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
He faces up to 142 years in prison on charges of “founding or managing an armed terrorist organization,”
“making propaganda of a terrorist organization,” “praising crime and criminality,” “inciting people to violence and enmity,” “organizing, managing and joining unlawful meetings and demonstrations,” “participating in unlawful meetings and demonstrations without arms and not dispersing despite warnings,” “openly provoking people to commit crimes” and “provoking people to carry out unlawful meetings and demonstrations.”
The hearing of the case will be held on Sept. 6 in the Ankara 19th Heavy Penal Court after the file was transferred to the capital from Diyarbakır’s Eighth Heavy Penal Court over security concerns.
Mahsuni Karaman, Demirtaş’s lawyer, criticized the date of the hearing, noted that the case was opened on Jan. 11 and transferred to Ankara on April 17.
“It’s unacceptable that my client will appear in court 10 months and two days after his arrest,” Karaman told Doğan News Agency on May 30.
A total of 10 HDP lawmakers and the party’s former co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ are currently under arrest and face hundreds of years in prison on terror charges.