Court rules against deputy’s immunity

 A court has ruled that the crimes for which Sebahat Tuncel was tried falls into the category of attempts to impair the inseparable integrity of the state. AA photo

The court hearing the case of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Sebahat Tuncel has announced its justified verdict, which lies outside the coverage of legislative immunity. Istanbul’s 10th Criminal Court had sentenced Tuncel to eight years and nine months in prison as a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Against integrity
The court has ruled that the crimes for which Tuncel was tried falls into the category of attempts to impair the inseparable integrity of the state, including its territory and people, and therefore lies outside the protection of legislative immunity.

The verdict stated that Tuncel participated in the congress of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) held in northern Iraq in 2004 dressed in the same clothes that members of the group were wearing. Also in 2004, it said, Tuncel participated in a meeting in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district at the DTP district branch building together with top PKK administrators, and was taken into custody during a police raid there.

Testimonies

The detailed ruling said that based on witness and secret witness testimonies, Tuncel has given orders for some Molotov cocktail attacks in Istanbul. Also, according to secret witnesses, Sebahat Tuncel has recruited people for the PKK’s field staff. The court said the witness and secret witness testimonies matched and the testimonies were confirmed by police reports.

Tuncel was arrested on Nov. 8, 2006, and after she was elected as a deputy in the 2007 elections,
she was released on July 24, 2007 on grounds that there was no escape suspect.

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