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Bench with special jurisdiction set up for Selahattin Demirtaş

Mahsuni Kahraman, lawyer of detained HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, alleging that the failure for his client to be brought to hearings has been justified on cost grounds, has said, “Is it the cost of bringing Mr Demirtaş from Edirne to Diyarbakır; is this what is giving the state trouble?
Yayınlanma tarihi: 04 Ekim 2017 Çarşamba, 11:28

We openly state that, if the issue is hearing costs, we are prepared to bear them in full. We are capable of doing this.” Attorney Kahraman, also stating that Demirtaş's case has been remitted to a special bench set up to hear the cases into military staff having coup involvement at Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19, said, “We can thus say that a bench with special jurisdiction has been set up for Mr Demirtaş.”
 
 
Lawyers of HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been held in detention in Edirne Prison since 4 November 2016 on becoming subject to an investigation and subsequent proceedings by Diyarbakır Republic Chief Prosecution, held a press conference on the prosecution process in Diyarbakır. His lawyer Mahsuni Kahraman said that a total of 32 cases, one involving pretrail detention and 31 under pretrial release, were brought against Demirtaş and, with a portion of the cases involving prosecution under pretrial release having been joined, 21 cases are currently pending in various provinces. Kahraman, indicating that Demirtaş did not wish to make his defence at hearings through a video link, commented as follows:

“Selahattin Demirtaş has stated persistently that the only way for a fair trial to be conducted in all the cases in which he is being prosecuted is for him to be present in person in all courts and give a defence. He has given to understand at every opportunity that he will not make a defence by video link. The failure for my client to be brought to hearings at which his attendance has been decided on is for the most part justified with administrative decisions along the lines of ‘his being a well-known person and having a wide circle of acquaintances, the costs of the hearing and security.’ As has been reported in the press, there was also one case in which they wanted to handcuff him while in transit and, with him refusing this, he was not brought to the hearing. There is no objective reason that would justify not bringing Demirtaş to hearings. My client cannot be deprived of his right to a fair trial on abstract security grounds.”   

WE ARE PREPARED TO BEAR HEARING COSTS

Lawyer Kahraman, stressing that HDP Co-Chair Demirtaş in no way wished to exercise the right to “silence”, commented:

“Interim rulings to the effect that ‘If my client does not participate via video link, he may be deemed to have exercised his right to silence’ amount to legal blackmail. Mr Demirtaş has not exercised the right to silence under any circumstances or conditions, and will not do so subsequently. He wants to be present in person in courts and make a defence over all the charges against him. Until now, “cost” has been cited as one of the reasons for Demirtaş not appearing in person at hearings. Matters such as costs of the hearing, procedural economy and security are not matters that become a sovereign state. Is it the cost of bringing Mr Demirtaş from Edirne to Diyarbakır; is this what is giving the state trouble? We openly state that, if the issue is hearing costs, we are prepared to bear them in full. We are capable of doing this. I do not know if the state is incapable of this. This overture of ours has eliminated these grounds. The same goes for the security issue. For a state to say, ‘There are security shortcomings and I cannot take Demirtaş’ to trials pending in sixteen provinces amounts to incapacity.”

A BENCH WITH SPECIAL JURISDICTION HAS BEEN SET UP FOR MR DEMIRTAŞ

Attorney Mahsuni Kahraman recalled that Ankara Regional Court of Justice ruled two weeks ago that there was no possibility of joining Demirtaş's case and Yasin Börü’s case. Kahraman alleged, “On this decision, the case was remitted to Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19 and it expects to see preparation for the hearing here. The date of the hearing has not been given, either. As of today, it might appear that Demirtaş is being tried before courts with special jurisdiction. Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19 is a court with two benches. With one of these two benches attending to all cases falling to the jurisdiction of Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19, the second bench is a bench that has been awarded special jurisdiction and is only hearing cases filed into military staff having coup involvement. Mr Demirtaş’s case has also been placed with the second bench. We can thus say that a bench with special jurisdiction has been set up for Mr Demirtaş.”

SOMEBODY ON THE OUTSIDE IS USING DEMİRTAŞ’S TWITTER ACCOUNT

Kahraman, commenting on the controversy surrounding the posting of messages on the Twitter account of Demirtaş, who is detained in the Edirne F Type High Security Closed Penal Institution, and explaining that somebody on the outside is using this account with his client’s knowledge, commented, “This point has been sensationalised in the press. Mr Demirtaş’s Twitter account is being used and messages are being posted by somebody on the outside with his knowledge and as dictated by him. These messages are Demirtaş’s precise words. Demirtaş’s words. So, there can be no question of Tweets being posted in prison.”

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Selahattin Demirtaş