What happened at the fifth hearing of Gezi Trial?

Lawyers of Osman Kavala published a summary note on the fifth hearing of the Gezi Trial that was held in Silivri on 28 January 2020. Kavala was originally detained on 18 October 2017 at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport and was arrested on 1 November 2017. The next hearing of the trial will take place on 18 February 2020, and the Prosecutor will file the legal opinion on the merits of the case.
  • Following the last hearing on 24 December, the Court heard Murat Papuç as a witness twice in the absence of the defense, without allowing the participation of defense lawyers.
  • It is evidently against the law that the Court listens to the witness in such a way. The article the Court relies on regulates that in cases of organized crime, if the witness's security of life is at stake, the witness can be heard in another hall only if audio and video are conveyed simultaneously, reserving the right to ask questions by the parties. Yet, there is no organized crime claim among the charges, there is no concrete justification, or even a claim, that the witness's security of life is in danger. The witness was to be heard in another hall by transferring his audio and video, but rather the witness was heard twice in the presence of the prosecution and the absence of the defense.
  • The witness, Murat Papuç, delivered a gas mask, which he claimed to have at his home and was distributed during the Gezi Protests, 6 years after the protests took place; and this mask was regarded as evidence by the Court.
  • It was revealed by the defense lawyers that the surname of Murat Papuç, who was identified and heard twice by the Court, was indeed Eren, not Papuç. The Court, therefore, heard an imaginary witness who was not registered in the population.
  • At the beginning of the hearing, the Court Panel read out loud the documents came before the hearing, thus recorded in the minutes that, a correspondence was made with the Ministry of Justice regarding the violation decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) about Osman Kavala and that the Court was notified that the judgment was not finalized. The Court Panel is evidently lying: There is no statement in the response of the Ministry of Justice that the ECtHR judgment was not finalized. The Court Panel commits a crime by not implementing the ECtHR's statutory decision on immediate release, and it seeks to make the Ministry of Justice party to this crime.
  • Ministry of Justice has conveyed only one written statement regarding this subject. In the letter of 23 December 2019, it was only stated the ECtHR ruled that there is a violation of rights regarding Osman Kavala; the judgment was notified on 10 December; and the translation of the judgment was sent in the attachment. There is no statement in the letter affirming that the decision is not finalized.
  • Former Judge of the ECtHR, Rıza Türmen, prepared a scientific opinion regarding the implementation of the ECtHR decision without any delay and the immediate release of Osman Kavala, and the opinion was included in the court file.
  • At the beginning of the hearing on 28 January, defense lawyers took the floor one by one and demanded the recusation of the Court Panel for the reasons we listed above. As the Court rejected the requests stating that these requests were made to extend the hearing, defense lawyers left the courtroom.
  • The Court dismissed the audience from the courtroom, did not allow lawyers to attend the hearing, and continued to question the defendants in the absence of defense lawyers.
  • In the interim decision; the Court granted standing to Mevlüt Saldoğan, the police officer who injured his foot in the course of kicking Ali İsmail Korkmaz to death and thus has a final court order on his conviction, on the grounds that he was a victim. Despite all the requests, the Court did not reverse its decision.
  • In the interim decision, the Court did not implement the ECtHR ruling, which had to be implemented immediately, on the allegation that it was not finalized, and ruled the continuation of the detention of Osman Kavala.
  • In the interim decision, the Court rejected the request for the witness Murat Pabuç, who was wrongfully withheld from the defense, to be heard during the hearing.
  • The Court Panel deposited the case file to the prosecutor to prepare the legal opinion, stating that the case file is completed, despite all the shortcomings of the case – without even feeling the need for verifying the full name of the witness. The next hearing was scheduled for 18 February.