A court reportedly saw a release decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding Osman Kavala after ruling for the prominent businessman’s continuation of arrest despite being sent the translation of the decision a day before.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry sent the translation to Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court before the hearing of the case into renowned businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Kavala, who has been in jail for over two years, Independent’s Turkish service reported.
The court on Dec. 24 ruled for the continuation of Kavala’s arrest even though the ECHR called for his release, saying that the Justice Ministry needs to send the ECHR decision to the court first.
Kavala is accused of being one of the “managers and organizers” of 2013 Gezi Park protests, which took place in Istanbul’s Taksim following harsh government response to a group of protesters trying to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government.
He was arrested in 2017 on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order through force and violence. In addition to the charges related to the Gezi Park protests, Kavala also faces those related to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
The ECHR has recently ruled that Turkey violated Kavala’s rights, while also calling for his immediate release.
Kavala, who faces life in jail if convicted, denies the allegations. Fifteen other defendants are on trial along with Kavala, who is currently the only one in jail.
Speaking about the court ruling, one of the lawyers of the case, Hürrem Sönmez, said that the translation of the ECHR ruling was presented to the court on Dec. 24.
“If the court had the willingness to release him, it would have done so,” Sönmez told Bianet, adding that waiting for the Justice Ministry’s translation can’t be cited as the basis of the ruling.