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Former Diyarbakır Bar chair given 7.5 year jail term on 'terror' charges

After his previous conviction was overturned, Fethi Gümüş has been handed the same sentence.

May  30, 2023

İstanbul - BIA News Desk

Source: https://bianet.org/english/law/279627-former-diyarbakir-bar-chair-given-7-5-year-jail-term-on-terror-charges

In his retrial, Fethi Gümüş, the former chair of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, has been sentenced to the same penalty after his prison sentence was previously overturned, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reported.

The original conviction was based on his alleged involvement with the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a civil society organization that focuses on Kurdish rights.

The Diyarbakır Regional Court of Justice had previously overturned the 7-year and 6-month prison sentence citing "incomplete examination."

During the decision hearing of the retrial at the Diyarbakır 9th Heavy Penal Court, Gümüş and his lawyers were present.

"DTK is not an illegal organization"

In his defense, Gümüş stated that the DTK is not an illegal organization, highlighting that DTK Co-Chair Berdan Öztürk was elected as a member of parliament and that the DTK remains open and continues its activities.

He said that he was being tried for being a member of an "illegal organization" due to his legal activities within the DTK.

Regarding the presence of a secret witness in the case, he pointed out that the court's official communication had received a response stating that "there is no such secret witness."

Gümüş recalled that in the overturn decision by the appeals court, it was requested to determine whether he had participated in any demonstrations, and in the police investigation, the response was that there was no document indicating his involvement in any action.

Lawyers also requested the acquittal of their clients, pointing out the inconsistencies in the case and the annulment decision by the appeals court.

The court insisted on its previous decision and sentenced Gümüş to 7 years and 6 months in prison. (NT/VK)