Osman Kavala re-arrested after acquittal

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An Istanbul court on Feb. 19 arrested businessman Osman Kavala, as part of a probe into the defeated coup attempt of 2016, after he was acquitted from the Gezi Park trial.

Shortly after his acquittal, Istanbul prosecutors issued a fresh detention warrant for Kavala. The police detained him immediately after his release from a prison in Silivri, west of Istanbul, and took him to police headquarters, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

After the judiciary procedures at the police headquarters, Kavala was referred to a court on duty.

He was re-arrested on charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.” Kavala denies all accusations regarding his alleged support to the July 15 coup attempt, orchestrated by the FETÖ.

Kavala, who was among nine defendants acquitted on Feb. 17 of criminal charges in connection with the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

After the acquittals of Feb. 17, many lawmakers and members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lashed out at the court’s ruling.

“The Gezi events were a heinous attack targeting the people and state, just like military coups,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan AKP lawmakers on Feb. 18.

“[On Feb. 17] they set out to acquit [Kavala] with a maneuver,” he added, and later told reporters the new arrest order must be respected.

Erdoğan accused Kavala of links to U.S. billionaire George Soros, suggesting this “proved he was seeking to undermine the government.”

“There are Soros-like people behind the curtains who seek to stir up things by provoking revolt in some countries,” he said. “The Turkey branch of this was in prison, but they dared to acquit him,” he added.

In the summer of 2013, relatively small demonstrations in Istanbul’s Gezi Park grew into a nationwide wave of protests against the government that left eight protesters and a police officer dead.

Hurriyet Daily News

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