8-year sentence sought for Demirtaş over remarks on prosecutor Kocaman in court statement

Prosecutors have sought up to eight years in jail for renowned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş over his remarks about former Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman during a hearing. The fresh investigation against Demirtş came after he criticized Kocaman over his visit to the Presidential Palace, saying that the prosecutor's close relationship with Erdoğan did not mean he would not be facing prosecution in the future. Kocaman has been recently appointed to the Court of Cassation.

Duvar English

Turkish prosecutors have sought up to eight years in jail for former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş over charges of “insulting” and “threatening” former Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman.

The complaint against Demirtaş concerns his remarks during a hearing that Kocaman's close relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not mean he wouldn't be facing prosecution in the future.

Kocaman, who drafted the indictment in the so-called Kobane trial against Demirtaş and 107 other people, was in the news in September for a visit he paid Erdoğan immediately after his wedding and received presents from the head of state.

Following this controversial visit, Demirtaş said, "Gifts you receive will not save you from prosecution,” referring to Kocaman. Prosecutors now accuse Demirtaş of making Kocaman a target of "supporters of terrorist organizations."

Kocaman has been recently appointed to Turkey's Court of Cassation by the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK).

Demirtaş commented on the newly launched investigation against him as he participated in the hearing on Feb. 5 by video link-up known as the SEGBİS system.

“I have made the comments about Kocaman during my defense at the 19th Heavy Penal Court. They have not made a criminal complaint at the time. They have made a criminal complaint only after the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR),” Demirtaş told the Ankara 25th Heavy Penal Court.

The trial has been postponed to April 9.

The Grand Chamber of the ECHR ruled on Dec. 22, 2020 that Demirtaş - who is charged with terrorism-related offenses - had his rights violated under five different categories, including freedom of expression and liberty.

The Grand Chamber said Demirtaş’s pre-trial detention since November 2016 had sent “a dangerous message to the entire population” that sharply narrowed free democratic debate.

The ECHR said it saw no evidence in decisions on Demirtaş’s detention that linked his actions and the alleged offenses.