Turkey: 13 people were sentenced to 104 years

We publish an unofficial translation of an article by Yeni Demokrasi:

13 people were sentenced to 104 years in prison based on their interrogation statements

In the operation carried out against Partizan in May last year, 13 people were detained and a total of 8 people were arrested, 4 of whom were Partizan readers. The 5th hearing of the case, which was created solely with the abstract statements of the interrogator, was held today at Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse. 13 people were sentenced to a total of 104 years and 7 months in prison.

In their court defense, the imprisoned Partisans reiterated that the interrogator’s abstract statements were insufficient to justify their arrest. The court panel demanded that Partizan readers who were arrested with abstract statements and those who were tried without detention be punished with a political decision, even though there was no concrete reason. In the case that was heard with false and abstract statements, the court handed down punishment.

The lawyers made their final defense at the verdict hearing held at the 30th High Criminal Court. At the verdict hearing, the lawyers reiterated that, as they had mentioned in their previous defense, the abstract statements of a interrogator were insufficient to show evidence of “membership in an organization”. It was stated that many requests were made for discovery and expert reports for “concrete evidence”, but this request was constantly rejected. Lawyer Nagehan Avçil reacted by drawing attention to this in his defense. “Until this evidence is collected, a fair decision will not come out of this file. If there is a verdict, it will be a decision made with incomplete investigation and prosecution.” Avçil stated that acting solely on the statements of the interrogator without this evidence means preventing the right of defense.

Lawyer İnayet Aksu, on the other hand, stated that it is insufficient to justify the interrogation’s statements only for “membership in an organization” and requested that the previous decision of the Supreme Court on this issue be taken into account. “We operate in abstraction. At some point, we need to concretize and make a clear decision that, that act was committed by that perpetrator. This is so hard. Concretization work is not done. Just making assumptions. This is the ideological motivation of the trial. We are in a pool of abstraction and are forced to explain ourselves.”

After their defense, the lawyers demanded the release and acquittal of their clients. The court took a break for 15 minutes. After a break, the prison sentences requested for 12 people were read out.

No discount was applied to Ünal Yiğit and he was sentenced to 10 years for ‘membership in an organization’ and 10 years for ‘possession of explosives’. He was sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison. Cem Karakuş was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison, Aysel Kaya was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison and Nihat Konak was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison for ‘membership in an organization’.

All of those tried without detention were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison separately.

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