The prosecutor of the case against members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) asked on Friday evening for at least one life sentence without parole for each defendant in his final opinion.
The defendants and their lawyers did not attend Friday’s afternoon session of what is famously known as the Kobane trial in the country, on the grounds that the court allowed the prosecutor to present his final opinion before the lawyers finished their defences.
The final opinion of the prosecutor who summed up the case is about 5,000 pages long, Bianet reported. The prosecutor could not read the whole statement at court, while Ankara Chief’s Prosecutor’s Office handed a two-page summary to reporters following the trial.
The prosecutor asked for “aggravated life sentences” for 36 defendants, the most severe sentence in Turkish criminal law which replaced the death penalty and which means no prospect of early release and severe restrictions of movement in prison or prolonged solitary confinement.
Former HDP co-chairs Selehattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, the party’s former MPs Ahmet Türk, Altan Tan Ayhan Bilgen, Ayla Akat Aka, Aysel Tuğluk, Emine Ayna, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Gültan Kışanak and Sebahat Tuncel are among the defendants of the case who face life sentences.
The prosecutor also asked the court to re-arrest 12 defendants who were previously released. The court did not announce a decision on the re-arrest request and postponed the case to 3 July.
A total number of 108 defendants have been tried for inciting protests that took place on 6 to 8 October 2014 in reaction to the Turkish state’s indifference to the Islamic State (ISIS) closing in on the northeast Syrian town of Kobane, a Kurdish populated town right on the Turkish border.
Accusing the defendants of “disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country”, the prosecutor has shown statements, attending celebrations or other types of activities as evidence against the defendants in his indictment.
Demirtaş, who previously called the trial an attempt to seek political revenge on the HDP, said on Twitter on Friday that they would tear apart and throw into a rubbish bin both the indictment and the prosecutor’s final opinion on 14 May, the date of Turkey’s upcoming elections.
“You have not managed to kneel us down with your plots, but you will kneel down in front of the people,” wrote the politician, who has been kept in Edirne prison in northwest Turkey.