More than three years that he has been in prison without trial. A Turkish court kept businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala in custody on Friday (December 18th). A decision that was taken against this figure of Turkish civil society after the first hearing of a new trial on charges of involvement in a failed coup in 2016.
→ LAST FEBRUARY. In Turkey, philanthropist Osman Kavala freed and arrested
The court, at the Istanbul courthouse, followed the prosecution’s request by rejecting the request for release during the trial made by Osman Kavala’s lawyers. The next hearing will take place on February 5.
Defenders of the patron, who consider the accusations against him fallacious, hoped to see him released by the court after promises of reforms of legal procedures made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Aged 63 and incarcerated in Silivri prison on the edge of Istanbul, Osman Kavala attended this hearing by videoconference, which took place as the Constitutional Court is soon due to examine the legality of his detention without trial since October 2017.
” My continued detention for years, ignoring the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and despite my previous acquittal by a local court and two release orders, is no ordinary violation of my rights. It has become a kind of moral torture “, He told the judges before the end of the hearing.
→ TRIBUNE. For Erdogan, Osman Kavala is the man to kill
Life imprisonment was required against the patron in October for “attempting to overthrow the government”, denoting alleged involvement in an aborted putsch against the Turkish president in July 2016, and for “political espionage”. ” These accusations are not supported by any concrete evidence. They are in total contradiction with my vision of the world and my ethics He told the judge after reading the indictment. ” These allegations are unfounded. I have always been opposed to military coups and military interference in politics “.
The pro-government press dubbed Osman Kavala – known for his support for cultural projects dealing with minority rights, the Kurdish question and Armenian-Turkish reconciliation – “ the red billionaire », Comparing him to the American billionaire George Soros, bête noire of several authoritarian leaders in the world. President Erdogan himself accused him of being ” the representative in Turkey “By George Soros and” finance terrorists “.
Acquitted in February in a first trial over his alleged role in anti-government protests in 2013, he was immediately taken into custody as part of another investigation linked to the attempted coup.