Turkish Constitutional Court’s Grand Chamber will review philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala’s application against his ongoing imprisonment on Dec. 29. The top court’s First Chamber was set to review Kavala’s application on Dec. 15 but sent it to the Grand Chamber without discussing it.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court will review the application of renowned philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala on Dec. 29, online news portal T24 has reported.
The top court’s First Chamber was set to review Kavala’s appeal against his imprisonment on Dec. 15, but referred it to the Grand Chamber without discussing it.
The first hearing into the second trial against Kavala took place at the Istanbul 36th Heavy Penal Court on Dec. 18. The court rejected the demand for Kavala’s release and set the next hearing date as Feb. 5, 2021.
In his opening speech at the court, Kavala rejected the accusations of “espionage” and “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order,” saying the case against him lacks concrete evidence and that he has always stood against coups.
Kavala has been in prison in Turkey for more than three years without a conviction. His case has drawn condemnation from around the world, with several rights groups calling for his immediate release.
He has remained in prison despite being acquitted in February in connection with 2013 Gezi Park protests. He was re-arrested before he could leave the courtroom however, on fresh charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order in the failed 2016 coup.
This is not the first time that Kavala applied to the Constitutional Court for his release. In 2017, he lodged an application with the top court appealing his arrest under the Gezi Park case.
On May 22, 2019, the top court ruled that Kavala’s ongoing pre-trial detention does not violate his right to liberty and security by five to 10 votes.
In their dissenting opinion, the President and the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court stated that there is no convincing evidence in the file regarding that the Gezi Protests were financed by Kavala and that the Gezi Protests were intended to overthrow the government.
As Kavala was not released despite an acquittal decision in the Gezi Park trial, the activist on May 4, 2020 filed another application with the top court, saying the continuation of his detention constitutes a violation of rights.
The Turkish Constitutional Court judges said that Kavala was now imprisoned under a different case from the initial charges and they need to reexamine this new case file.