Attorneys of arrested rights defender and businessperson Osman Kavala have submitted a petition to the İstanbul Penal Judgeship of Peace and requested the release of their client. The attorneys have demanded that the court consider the finalized ruling of right violation and immediate release of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as of May 12.
In the petition submitted by lawyers Köksal Bayraktar, Deniz Tolga Aytöre and İlkan Koyuncu, it has also been noted that COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in Silivri Prison, which will put Kavala’s health at risk.
On December 10, 2019, ECtHR gave a verdict of right violation for Kavala, who was detained on October 18, 2017 and arrested on November 1.
The ECtHR concluded that the European Convention on Human Rights was violated on the grounds that Kavala was arrested without any reasonable suspicion and with political motives and that the Constitutional Court did not examine his application within a reasonable period of time.
The Court concluded that the Articles 5/1 and 5/4 and Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) had been violated and ruled that Kavala should be released from prison immediately. The verdict emphasized that the arrest of Kavala was a right violation.
With the rejection of the government’s request for the referral of the case to the Grand Chamber, the verdict has become finalized as of May 12.
However, on March 9, the İstanbul 10th Penal Judgeship of Peace ruled that Kavala should be arrested for “acquiring the confidential information of the state for purposes of political and military espionage.”
‘He is deprived of his freedom for same reasons’
In their petition to the penal judgeship of peace, Osman Kavala’s attorneys have noted that “the alleged contact between Kavala and Henri Barkey,” which was cited as the reason for his arrest, is deprived of any content that would justify the legitimacy of his arrest. The attorneys have underlined that this has also been finalized with the ECtHR verdict:
“That the client is deprived of his freedom for the same reasons while there is a finalized ECtHR verdict about these allegations will apparently conflict with the conscience and sense of justice of the society.”
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) rapporteurs on Turkey also called for the immediate release of Kavala, underlining that the finalized ECtHR verdict covers the same investigation as well.
‘There is a finalized ECtHR verdict’
The petition of the attorneys has also stressed that the state parties are obligated to comply with the ECtHR verdicts, citing examples from the previous verdicts of the supreme court pertaining to this.
“While there is a finalized ECtHR verdict concluding that the allegations and accusations cited in the investigation since the very first date when Osman Kavala was deprived of his freedom are not legitimate, being a democratic state of law requires that the independent judiciary guarantee the client’s right to personal liberty and security.
“In the event that the arrest remains in effect despite the ECtHR verdict, it will clearly manifest that the arrest is political due to a violation of the Article 18 of the ECHR and the principle of rule of law as per the Article 3 and as approved by the Council of Europe has been abandoned.”