Turkish judge deems Osman Kavala's prolonged imprisonment 'disproportionate'

One of the judges overlooking the case of Osman Kavala has expressed a dissenting opinion to the continued imprisonment of the philantrophist. Judge Kürşad Bektaş said that the court's ruling was a “disproportionate” measure.

Osman Kavala has been behind bars since 2017.

Duvar English 

A Turkish judge who submitted an opinion for Osman Kavala's release has said that he found the continued imprisonment of the philantrophist as an “unproportionate” measure, BBC's Turkish service reported.

Kürşad Bektaş is one of the three judges overlooking the case of Kava at the Istanbul 13rd Heavy Penal Court. On Nov. 26, the court board ruled by a majority of votes to keep Kalava behind bars. It also postponed the hearing to Jan. 17, 2022.

In his dissenting opinion, Bektaş said that Kavala should be released provided that “one or a couple of proportionate judicial review measures” be imposed on him.

He said that Kavala's defense, the collection of evidence, the scope of the case and the fact that there was no probability of spoiling the evidence were sufficient to rule for his release.

Germany says Council of Europe will give its decision 'on how to proceed' 

Meanwhile, Germany has released a statement slamming Turkey for failing to comply with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Kavala. 

"The Council of Europe will decide in a few days on how to proceed in this matter. It is clear to me that this case is not just about the person of Osman Kavala, not just about Turkey, but about human rights protection in Europe as a whole," the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid in the Federal Foreign Office, Bärbel Kofler, said in a written statement on Nov. 26. 

Amnesty calls on Council of Europe to start infringement proceedings

The Amnesty International has called on heads of state of the Council of Europe countries to launch infringement proceedings against Turkey over its refusal to release Kavala.

“This trial is yet another brazen episode in the relentless political persecution for which the European Court has condemned Turkey,” said Nils Muiznieks, Amnesty International’s Europe director.

“When a state shows such disregard for it’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers must take action and initiate infringement proceedings.”

Kavala, 64, is on trial with 51 others in a combination of three separate cases over the 2013 protests and the 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government.

The ECHR called for Kavala's release in late 2019 over a lack of reasonable suspicion that he committed an offence, ruling that his detention served to silence him.

The Council of Europe has said it will begin infringement proceedings against Turkey if Kavala is not released. This could eventually lead to Turkey being expelled from the body.