The European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor has said that the new indictment filed against jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala does not involve any “real evidence” and is “outrageous.”
Amor wrote on Twitter that the indictment “disdains” a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that called for Kavala’s immediate release. “It’s a surrealist prosecution that has already caused too much suffering,” he said.
Kavala’s trial is Kafkaesque, says Amnesty International
Amnesty International similarly issued a statement regarding the fresh indictment, calling it “absurd.”
“Having been in prison for almost three years, Osman Kavala is now facing a new trial under an absurd new charge of ‘espionage’. With this new indictment, Osman Kavala faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole as well as up to an additional 20 years for ‘espionage.’ Kafkaesque is an overused cliché but in the case of Osman Kavala, it is chillingly apt,” Amnesty International’s Europe Director Nils Muiznieks said.
The organization once again urged Turkey to release Kavala and drop the “manifestly vindictive proceedings” against him.
“The European Court of Human Rights ruled last December that Osman Kavala’s prolonged pre-trial detention was unlawful and served an ‘ulterior purpose’. Yet, Turkey refuses to implement the binding judgment and to release him,” Muiznieks said.
An Istanbul court on Oct. 8 approved an indictment accusing Kavala of helping organize an attempted coup in 2016, months after he was acquitted on charges of financing nationwide protests in 2013.
The claim that Kavala organized the 2013 Gezi Park protests has been repeated in this second indictment against the philanthropist.
The fresh indictment submitted to the Istanbul 36th Heavy Penal Court cites Kavala’s “relationship” with former U.S. State Department employee and academic Henri Barkey as “new evidence” in the case. The indictment claims that “Kavala helped Barkey’s spying activities in Turkey and they ran activities together,” although it fails to present any evidence for the direct communication between the two men.
Prosecutors likewise accuse Barkey of being a foreign agent and plotting the 2016 failed coup attempt.
The main argument in the indictment is that the mobile phones of both Kavala and Barkey transmitted signals coming from the base stations at the same timeslot, which it said “proves” the two men were at “the same location” having a meeting.