The new verdict of arrest for “espionage” has been given for imprisoned businessperson Osman Kavala one day before the ECtHR verdict of “right violation” and “immediate release” becomes final.
Arrested in Silivri Prison in İstanbul, rights defender and businessperson Osman Kavala has now also been arrested as part of a “political or military espionage” investigation launched against him.
Referred to the İstanbul 10th Penal Judgeship of Peace with a request for his arrest, Osman Kavala attended the hearing via Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS) yesterday evening (March 9). Following his testimony, Kavala has been arrested on charge of “espionage.”
Arrested as part of an investigation conducted by the Terror and Organized Crimes Bureau of İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and charged with “attempting to disrupt the Constitutional order”, Kavala now also faces the charge of “espionage” on the ground that he was allegedly in contact with Henri Barkey, a professor of International Relations at Lehigh University and a former US Department of State official.
The referral of Kavala to court to be arrested for “espionage” was first announced to the public by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) İstanbul MP – journalist Ahmet Şık. After Kavala was arrested again, Şık tweeted:
“The time granted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to the government for an additional defense would expire tomorrow. As of today, there was no additional defense submitted by the government to the ECtHR.
“The charges brought against Kavala are not related with a new investigation. As part of the file where he was charged with “plotting a coup” under the Article 309 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) after being detained for 13 days, arrested on November 1, 2017 and given an ex officio verdict of release on October 11, 2019, he has been arrested again on the ground that new evidence has been obtained.
“The ‘new evidence’ written down on the writ of arrest by Prosecutor Hasan Yılmaz: ‘In the additional inquiry made about Barkey, there has been obtained evidence suggesting that he acted by carrying out duties of intelligence on behalf of foreign countries…'”
One day before the ECtHR verdict
In his series of tweets, Ahmet Şık also emphasized that the new verdict of arrest was given one day before the ECtHR verdict of “right violation” and “immediate release” becomes final. In its related ruling, the ECtHR concluded that Osman Kavala’s arrest violated his rights.
Şık stated the following about this issue:
“The legal regulation that entered into effect on October 24, 2019 concluded that ‘the maximum period of arrest at the stage of investigation could be one year, six months and this period could be extended for another six months by giving justification for the extension.’ In other words, Kavala should have been released on February 25, 2020.
“The ECtHR verdict that defines Kavala’s arrest as a right violation and will become final at the close of business day tomorrow also covers the ‘coup plotting’ charge, based on which he was arrested for the 3rd time.”
In its ruling dated December 10, 2019, the ECtHR gave a verdict of right violation for businessperson Osman Kavala, who was arrested on November 1, 2017. Turkey had three months to object to this ECtHR verdict and this period was to expire today (March 10).
If Turkey does not object to the verdict befıre the designated deadline, the ECtHR verdict dated December 10, 2019 will become final.
Message by Freedom to Osman Kavala Coordination
Following the new verdict of arrest, the Freedom to Osman Kavala Coordination shared the following message on its social media account:
“A day before the deadline for objection to the ECtHR decision to be expired, Osman Kavala was referred to the İstanbul 10th Criminal Court of Peace with the charge of ‘securing information that, due to its nature, must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security or domestic or foreign political interests of the State, for the purpose of political or military espionage’ under the Article 328 of Turkish Penal Code.
“Osman Kavala, who gave a statement in Silivri Prison through a video link up to the court (SEGBİS), has just been arrested once again on the same file that he had been arrested on November 1, 2017 and later released on October 11, 2019!”