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The court case brought against Selahattin Demirtaş, the former Co-Chair and current Presidential candidate of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), on charge of "insulting the president" continued today (May 17).
Arrested on November 4, 2016 and currently held in Edirne Type F Prison, Demirtaş did not attend the hearing held at the 38th Penal Court of First Instance in Bakırköy Courthouse in İstanbul.
In his statement of excuse addressing the court, Demirtaş stated that he could not prepare his defence in full and was unable to attend the hearing due to his election works.
The judge Hasan Arı ruled that the next hearing of Demirtaş be held on December 5 so that he can prepare his statement of defence.
Demirtaş is tried due to his statement at the airport
Demirtaş is tried for the following statements he issued on December 24, 2015 at Atatürk Airport in İstanbul on his return from his visit to Russia:
"In fact, the people in Turkey don't want war with Russia or any country. This is a tension that came into existence because of AKP (Justice and Development Party) government's wrong decision. President and Prime Minister had stated that it was a mistake before we did. They cannot cover up their own mistakes with rhetoric such as 'They betrayed the country, they betrayed the nation'. They are trying to cover up their own mistakes through us. I am calling on Mr. Prime Minister Davutoğlu; do not say things that you will eat in the future".
The cases brought following this statement on charges of "insulting Prime Minister" and "inciting people to enmity and hostility" dropped. Another case brought following the same statement was "insulting president".
Demirtaş was sentenced to pay fine of 15 thousand liras (3,300 Euros) to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his statements he made in Mersin on February 27, 2016.
Demirtaş has been imprisoned in Edirne Type F Prison since November 4, 2016. In addition to Demirtaş, nine HDP MPs including Figen Yüksekdağ who was relieved of her MP duties and Nursel Aydoğan are behind bars as well.
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