A court ruled in a hearing on Oct. 8 that the pre-trial detention of philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been behind bars for two years now as he awaits the completion of his trial, will continue.
The hearing was the third in the Gezi trial in which Kavala and 15 others face charges of “attempting to overthrow the government.” They face life sentences if convicted.
The judge ruled that the defendants would remain in pre-trial detention until the next hearing in the case, which was set for October 24 and 25. Inside the courtroom, taking photos was forbidden, and courtroom sketch artists were asked to leave the hearing.
According to the Media Law Studies Association, a legal non-profit, the chair of the court questioned Kavala about his work as a board member of the Open Society Foundation in Turkey, and as a founder of the non-profit Anatolian Culture. At times, the chair took a combative stance regarding Kavala’s work, asking him at one point, “Germans, Americans get their information from you—who are you to give them any information? The indictment makes you look as though you are their representative,” to which Kavala replied that the indictment was prepared without having asked him about any of these topics.
“If I were the representative they would give instructions. It shows that as an independent, unbiased person—they value my opinions. My interrogation was done at the police station. None of the questions you are asking me now were asked,” Kavala added.
The court also heard testimony from Can Atalay, attorney for the Chamber of Architects, and Tayfun Karaman, former spokesperson for Chamber of City Planners. The court chair also questioned Yiğit Aksakoğlu, an activist who attended meetings about the Gezi protests, who testified in response to the question from the chair that he never “received orders” from Osman Kavala.