A secret state witness who contributed ‘evidence’ in a Turkish court case with his testimonies supporting the prosecution’s accusations against a group of Kurdish Islamic clerics of affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), made a series of embarrassing gaffes when he joined a hearing session through an audio visual system.
The sixth hearing session in the case against 24 Kurdish clerics, all members of the Association of Solidarity of Clerics (DIAYDER), was held in Istanbul on Tuesday.
The gaffes of the secret state witness, testifying under the alias ‘Padishah’, began when he stated that DIAYDER is operating in Bağlar district of the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (Amed), whereas in fact it has been operating in Istanbul.
His gaffe was met with chuckles from observers in the courtroom.
When the judge asked him if he knew of the association’s operations in Istanbul, ‘Padishah’ said that he did not know.
When the lawyer of one of the alleged suspects asked ‘Padishah’ if he recognised Mehmet Emin Aslan, a suspect who ‘Padishah’ earlier claimed in his written testimony that he knew, the witness looked at Aslan’s face and said he did not recognise him.
When he was asked if he recognised the two alleged suspects, Aydın Ayhan and Fevzi Barış, who he earlier said in his written testimony that he did not know, ‘Padishah’ said he recognised them, and that they had ‘taken part in some meetings in Diyarbakır.’
Ayhan and Barış said upon his remarks that they had never even been to Diyarbakır.
The suspects were then prevented by the judge from asking questions to Padishah.
At the end of the session, lawyer Fırat Epözdemir said that the responses of the secret state witness were actually a confirmation of what the defence has been asserting from the beginning, that he had simply signed the testimonies written by the police.