The seventh hearing of the lawsuit filed against Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) former Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş on charge of "insulting the commissioned officer" was held at the Viranşehir Penal Court of First Instance in Urfa yesterday (November 22).
Having been arrested in the Edirne Type F Prison since November 4, 2016, Selahattin Demirtaş attended the hearing in Urfa via the Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS).
Demirtaş stated that the SEGBİS system conflicts with both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution, adding that he requested to be taken to Viranşehir to make his defense in accordance with the principle of immediateness/ directness. The court board rejected the request of Demirtaş and adjourned his next hearing to February 14, 2019.
Referring to the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which ruled that "all necessary measures shall be adopted to put an end to his pre-trial detention" on November 20, Demirtaş said, "This and other (case) files are political. The ECtHR judgement has proven it."
As reported by Mezopotamya Agency, Demirtaş, who refused to make his defense via the SEGBİS, made the following remarks at the hearing:
"All lawsuits filed against me are political"
"I was arrested as a result of a political decision and taken to a prison which is thousands of kilometers away from my family.
"I want to go there and make my defense in a constitutional manner. It is my constitutional right.
"There are hundreds of lawsuits which have been filed against me. All of these lawsuits are political in nature.
"As part of a case file, whose investigation continued for five years, there was an attempt to find evidence after a two-year interval. This and other files are political. The judgement of the ECtHR has proven it.
"My detention for political reasons is a decision of the government. My transfer to a prison which is located 500 kilometers away from my family is a decision of the government, not mine.
"I am a politician dissident to the government. The ECtHR has confirmed that my detention is political."
On August 4, 2013, the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) made a joint decision to "set up a peace tent in Ceylanpınar in Turkey's southeastern province of Urfa".
Setting out to Urfa, the convoy of BDP Chair of the time Selahattin Demirtaş and the ones along with him was intercepted in Viranşehir.
Police officers intervened in the group with pepper gas, plastic bullets and Anti-Riot Water Cannon Vehicles (TOMA) without making any warnings.
Demirtaş verbally reacted to the police officers, as a result of which an investigation was launched against him for "resisting to prevent fulfilment of duty and insulting the commissioned officer."
While a verdict of non-prosecution was given in relation with the first charge, a lawsuit was filed against him for "insulting the commissioned officer" at the Viranşehir Penal Court of First Instance.
The police officers who filed a criminal complaint against Demirtaş were discharged and arrested for allegedly being a member of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Selahattin Demirtaş refused to make defense via the SEGBİS at his first six hearings and his defense was not taken. (EKN/SD)
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