Court Acquits BDP Deputy Hatip Dicle
A court in the northeastern province of Erzurum ruled to acquit Hatip Dicle, a member of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) who had lost his seat in Parliament three days prior to last year’s elections due to a court verdict against him on terrorism related charges.
Diyarbakır - BIA News Center
19 June 2012, Tuesday 14:02
A specially authorized court in Erzurum province ruled to acquit arrested BDP deputy Mehmet Hatip Dicle of terrorism related charges in connection with a speech he had delivered in the northeastern province of Ağrı in 2007, although Dicle will continue to serve time behind bars due to an earlier verdict passed against him.
The Supreme Court of Appeals had overturned the verdict against Dicle issued by the Erzurum Second Court for Serious Crimes to sentence him to two years in prison on the charge of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization." The Erzurum court then reviewed his file and decided to acquit him.
Dicle had entered the June 12, 2011 Parliamentary polls under the Labor, Peace and Democracy Bloc, but the Supreme Election Board had stripped him of his deputyship in Parliament due to the court verdict against him.
Hatip Dicle's speech
"What we call 'Kurdistan,' or what they call Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia in an official sense... We are a martyrs' movement, and not just any party. Do not confuse us with any party. The prime minister had said 'We are behind you and ready to [do] whatever it takes for a peaceful and democratic resolution to [this] problem.' And our youngsters up in the mountains put their guns down. The brotherly Kurdish people are not going to have just a single radio or television channel. Roj TV broadcasts from abroad, and you block their frequency. What sort of fraternity is that?" Dicle had said in the speech he had delivered on June 18, 2007 in Ağrı's Doğubayazıt district.
Still behind bars
The Ankara 11th Court for Serious Crimes had also sentenced Dicle to one year and eight months in prison on the charge of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization" in 2009. The Supreme Court of Appeals then proceeded to reject the defendant's objection and ratified the verdict three days prior to the June 12, 2011 parliamentary polls. Authorities then announced that Dicle could not hold a seat in Parliament, as his sentence was in excess of a year and constituted a felony. Dicle is still serving time behind bars in Diyarbakır Prison within the scope of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials. (IC)