Friday 16th February 2018
Written by Margaret Owen, International Trial Observer and Barrister
The Demirtas case has been adjourned until April. This is because the indictment runs to 550 pages and was far too long for Selahattin Demirtas and his lawyers to read and provide a defense against all of the charges. Demirtas has returned to endure a further two months of pre-trial detention in Edirne prison. However this time he looks set to face more hazardous conditions than before, such as the uniform order (see here), which if he protests is likely to result in him undergoing further punishments and restrictions.
It is extremely important that myself and the other international observers return to Turkey in April, and in greater numbers. Even if we are barred from entering the courtroom yet again our presence outside is, we are being told, vital as we bear witness to what has become known as the collapse of Turkey’s justice system, and total abandonment of the Rule of Law.
Supplement – Demirtas did ask to be released from jail whilst the trial continues but his request was denied. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-kurds/turkey-denies-release-request-from-former-head-of-pro-kurdish-party-party-official-idUSKCN1G01L5)
Image source: Rudaw/AA