Osman Kavala made his remaining attraction for freedom on Friday, on the fruits of a years-long trial.
One in all Turkey’s most well-known prisoners made his remaining attraction for freedom on Friday, on the fruits of a years-long trial that has come to outline Ankara’s tense ties with Western allies.
Paris-born activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala, 64, was a relative unknown when he was detained on his arrival at Istanbul’s airport in October 2017. Kavala’s imprisonment and not using a conviction has turn out to be a spotlight of Western worries concerning the Turkish authorities’s crackdown on dissent.
“The truth that I’ve spent 4.5 years of my life in jail is a loss that can’t be compensated,” Kavala informed the court docket on Friday talking through a video hyperlink from jail.
“The one factor that might console me is the likelihood that what I’ve gone by way of helps to place an finish to grave judicial errors,” he mentioned.
The courtroom was filled with some 200 folks, together with opposition members, rights teams and Western diplomats.
The prosecution desires Kavala discovered responsible of “making an attempt to overthrow” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authorities by financing a wave of 2013 protests after which being immediately concerned in a 2016 coup plot.
Kavala was acquitted of the primary rely linked to the 2013 protests in February 2020. However he was detained earlier than he had an opportunity to return residence after which charged with the coup try the identical night time.
Prosecutor Edip Sahiner has mentioned Kavala and co-accused architect Mucella Yapici must be convicted for making an attempt to overthrow the federal government by way of violence, which might carry a sentence of as much as life in jail with out parole.
Kavala has denied the fees.
A responsible verdict may see Kavala jailed for all times with out the potential of parole.
A verdict had been anticipated on Friday, however the court docket postponed its resolution till Monday to offer time for defence legal professionals to complete their statements.
Erdogan has made no secret of his private enmity for Kavala, calling him a communist agent of the Hungarian-born US philanthropist George Soros who’s allegedly utilizing overseas cash to try to topple the Turkish state.
“We will by no means be along with folks like Kavala,” Erdogan declared in 2020.
The case has strained Ankara’s ties with Western allies.
Human rights advocates say that if Kavala had been to be launched by the court docket, it might ship a sign to Turkey’s Western allies that its justice system is free from Erdogan’s strain.
“His unconditional launch might mark a turning level in de-politicisation of judicial prosecutions in Turkey,” Amnesty Worldwide’s Turkey researcher Guney Yildiz mentioned.
“That’s why the results of the emblematic case is kind of severe.”