Kurdish Trial: Defence Lawyers Disapprove of Police Presence

Tensions rose in the third hearing of the Kurdish KCK trial in Diyarbakır. The defence lawyers criticized the presence of plain-clothes police officers in the courtroom and the installation of a police cordon between the defendants and their lawyers.

 

On the third day of the “KCK trial”, the defence lawyers demanded to remove plainclothes policemen alleged to belong to the Anti-Terror Branch from the courtroom.

 

The trial related to the Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK) known as the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is heard before the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court. A total of 152 defendants face trial, 104 of them are detained.

 

Joint attorney for the defence, Ercan Kanar, stated that the trial could not be held in a democratic manner as long as policemen were positioned in the courtroom. “They may create pressure on the court and they may also influence the defendants. They are not neutral in this case”, he said and requested to withdraw these police officers from the courtroom.

 

According to the ANF news agency, irrelevant details were included when the indictment was read out. Lawyer Kanar demanded to omit those irrelevant parts that would offend the defendants, specifically transcripts of phone calls of the defendants, ANF reported.

 

The 7,578-page indictment prepared by the Diyarbakır Public Prosecution asks for sentences between 15 years imprisonment and life sentences under charges of “disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country”, “membership and leadership of a terrorist organization” and “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization”.

 

The reading of the summarized indictment stretched into the afternoon session of the third hearing on Wednesday (20 October). A discussion between the court president and the defence lawyers occurred over a supposed “hindering of contact between the defence lawyers and the defendants by the security forces”.

 

ANF reported that the lawyers criticized the security cordon set up between the attorneys and their clients with the alleged purpose of obstructing mutual contact. They claimed that this was contrary to the law and requested to remove the security forces from the court room. The court dismissed the demand.

 

Lawyers Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Metin Yeliz and Meral Danış Beştaş objected the rejection. The court president replied, “We do not accept this request. It creates a weakness in security”.

 

Lawyer Bektaş responded, “Are we going to attack the defendants or are they going to attack us? Is it this kind of security weakness? I want this to be included in the minutes”. The court president answered with a brief “OK”, turned to the prosecution and ordered to have the indictment read without putting down anything to the record. The indictment was summarized in 990 pages, however it could not be finished reading in yesterday’s session. (EÖ/VK)

 

Diyarbakır – BİA News Center

21 October 2010

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: