Duvar English – Reuters
A Turkish prosecutor appealed the acquittal of philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala and eight others over their alleged role in the 2013 Gezi Park protests, calling for convictions as charged, a document obtained by Reuters showed on April 9.
Kavala and 15 others were being tried in the case into the 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.
Kavala, who was accused of being one of the “managers and organizers” of the protests, was arrested in November 2017 on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order through force and violence.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Dec. 10, 2019 that Turkey violated Kavala’s rights, citing the violation of Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights, finding that his imprisonment involves a restriction on rights for an improper purpose, while also calling for his immediate release.
Kavala and eight other defendants were on Feb. 18 acquitted by a court outside Istanbul in the Gezi Park trial. Within hours, a new warrant was issued for Kavala as part of the investigation into the failed 2016 coup attempt. The prosecutors accuse him of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” in this case.
He was rearrested on Feb. 19.
An Istanbul court late on March 9 ordered Kavala’s arrest once again, this time on new charges of “political or military espionage” within the framework of an ongoing investigation against the philanthropist.
A 90-page document from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, dated April 8, called for the Gezi case acquittal rulings to be annulled and for the defendants to be convicted as charged.
It also called for a rearrest order to be imposed on Kavala in connection with the Gezi case, even though he is already in jail.