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The prosecutor has presented his opinion as to the accusations to the file of the court case filed against lawyer Levent Pişkin, who was taken into custody in 2016 on the grounds that he met imprisoned former Co-Chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş in prison.
In his opinion as to the accusations announced in the eighth hearing of the case held in the Bursa 8th Heavy Penal Court, Public Prosecutor Seyfettin Baysal has reiterated the remarks uttered in the indictment prepared by Chief Public Prosecutor Gökhan Şen.
Baysal has demanded that lawyer Pişkin be penalized on charges of “propagandizing for the organization” and “membership of the organization.”
The court has given additional time to the defendants for the preparation of their statements of defense as to the accusations and adjourned the hearing until November 18, 2020 at 9.30 a.m.
Attorneyship activities considered a crime
In his opinion as to the accusations, prosecutor Baysal has accused lawyer Pişkin of visiting his client Demirtaş in prison by presenting his lawyer identity card. The opinion as to the accusations has briefly read:
“…he participated in the attempted act of lobbying against our country in the international arena by visiting arrested HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş in Edirne Type F Prison by using his lawyer identity card, by accepting the offer that his message be written in his handwriting in his notebook to be sent to especially Germany and European countries and published on the Germany-based Der Spiegel, considering that suspect Kıkazak was the attorney and it would not lead to any problems while leaving the prison, and by bringing Demirtaş’s arrest into the international agenda…”
Whatsapp messages considered criminal evidence
Prosecutor Baysal has also considered it a criminal evidence that Pişkin was a member of the “HDP İstanbul” Whatsapp group and included the messages in the group in his opinion as to the accusations.
The Prosecutor has also argued that several news reported by Germany’s weekly Der Spiegel magazine “contain insults to the state of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; the magazine reports baseless news stories humiliating, mocking and degrading the country and it has a publication policy oriented towards defaming Turkey on the international platform by creating public opinion against the country.”
He also demands penalization of two lawyers
The prosecutor has also demanded that lawyers Ayşe Batumlu and Cahit Kırkazak, who stand trial as part of the same lawsuit, be also penalized for “membership of the organization” and “propaganda.”
As the reason for this demand, prosecutor Baysal has referred to the meetings, press statements and demonstrations attended and Whatsapp groups joined by Batumlu and Kırkazak. The prosecutor has also referred to Kırkazak’s visit to Selahattin Demirtaş by using his lawyer ID card as a reason for his demand for penalization.
‘Organization membership’ and ‘propaganda’
In his opinion as to the accusations, prosecutor Baysal has alleged that 12 people, including Pişkin, Kırkazak and Batumlu, “have affiliations with the organization, they are a part of the organization’s hierarchy, they have abandoned their will to the top execution and leader of the organization, thereby being members of the armed terrorist organization, and also committed the offense of propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”
Accordingly, the prosecutor has demanded that the defendants be separately penalized as per the Article 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), the Article 5/1 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK); the Article 7/2-2 of the TMK no. 3713 and the Articles 53, 54, 58 and 63 of the TCK.
The next hearing will be held on November 18, 2020.
Levent Pişkin, an attorney for arrested former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, was taken into custody in a police raid conducted to his house in İstanbul at around 5 a.m. on November 14, 2016.
Before he was detained, some news were reported in some platforms such as the pro-government Takvim, Sabah, Ulusal Kanal, alleging that Pişkin would give Demirtaş’s messages to a magazine in Germany so that they could be used for purposes of propaganda.
As the investigation against Pişkin was launched in Bursa province, he was taken to Bursa on November 15, 2016. Levent Pişkin was released after giving a statement at the prosecutor’s office there.
Indicting Levent Pişkin in April 2017, Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor Gökhan Şen has charged lawyer Pişkin with visiting his client Selahattin Demirtaş in prison by using his lawyer identity card. Whatsapp messages of the lawyer were also cited as criminal evidence.
Sent to the Bursa 8th Heavy Penal Court, the 33-page indictment has charged 12 people, including Batumlu, Kırkazak and Pişkin, of “membership of the organization” and “propagandizing for the organization.”
About Levent Pişkin
Lawyer, LGBTI+ rights activist. A member of the Libertarian Lawyers Association (ÖHD). A graduate of Ankara University Faculty of Law. MA degree in the Boğaziçi University’s Institute of Atatürk’s Principles and History of Revolution. (TP/SD)