Van Mayor latest to be freed in KCK case
VAN – Doğan News Agency
Van Mayor Bekir Kaya was arrested on June 7, 2012The mayor of Van from the Peace and Democratic Party (BDP), Bekir Kaya, was released on probation by a court March 29, after being investigated as part of the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case.
Kaya, who was arrested on June 7 last year and took part in the hunger strike of KCK detainees last October, became the latest former mayor to be freed, a month after the release of several former mayors.
The Van court also ruled for the release of 12 other suspects prosecuted along with Kaya. However, all suspects were forbidden from leaving the country.
In his remarks prior the court’s ruling, the prosecutor emphasized that he had taken notice of the cease-fire call made by the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and conveyed during last week’s Nevruz celebrations. “As the environment where suspects can harm social peace and support events in the street no longer exists, the grounds for their arrest also disappear,” said prosecutor Recep Bakırcı.
Meanwhile, the suspects gave their defense in Kurdish and their testimonies were translated by BDP’s Van deputy Nazmi Gür, as no translator had been given the task by the court. The court asked Gür if he had requested a fee for the translations, for which the deputy jokingly replied that he would “personally collect the fee from Van Mayor Bekir Kaya following his release.”
Many people waited outside the court for the verdict and the eventual release of the suspects was celebrated with a firework display.