September 9, 2018 / 03:13 PM
Demirtas sentenced to some 5 years in prison

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced former Peoples’ Democratic Party leader Selahattin Demirtas to four years, eight months in prison on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda, Reuters reported on Friday, citing CNN Turk.

The sentence marks the first conviction for Demirtas after spending 23 months in pretrial detention on a series of terrorism-related charges, facing a total of up to 142 years in prison, Reuters said.

In this trial, the court sentenced Demirtas to four years, eight months for spreading terrorist propaganda in a speech in 2013, when the government was holding peace talks with Kurdish militants for a cease-fire.

During the trial Demirtas claimed that the court acted with malicious intent and went out of its way to avoid taking their statements. “I received the court’s opinion two days ago, although according to law it should have been delivered at least seven days before the hearing,” Demirtas said.

However, the defense’s request for additional time to prepare a statement was denied by the court on the grounds that they had been given enough time.

In response to the presiding judge’s remarks to the defense lawyer that the verdict can be appealed, Demirtas said: “This is a comment that reflects the judge’s bias. How do you know that we are going to appeal the decision? You have already made the decision without reading the file. There’s no doubt about that. I have no trust or respect for this court.” The judge then claimed that he had been misunderstood.

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