World Bulletin / News Desk
An İstanbul court said on Thursday in its reasoned decision concerning a ruling that sentenced pro-Kurdish deputy Sebahat Tuncel to eight years, nine months in prison on charges of membership in the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), ordering Molotov cocktail attacks in İstanbul and assisting with recruitment for the PKK.
The İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court said charges laid against Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Tuncel cannot be considered as falling within the scope of parliamentary immunity, as Article 14 of the Constitution allows immunity to be bypassed in cases of “crimes against the integrity of the state, country and the nation.”
Citing the testimony of secret witnesses, the court said in 2004 Tuncel attended a meeting of the organization in northern Iraq in a recognized PKK uniform. Tuncel attended another meeting in the same year organized by senior PKK members in the now-defunct pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party's (DTP) Bağcılar district branch in İstanbul, the court said in its 15-page decision.
According to the information provided by secret witnesses, Tuncel ordered some of the Molotov cocktail attacks staged by the PKK members in İstanbul and helped with recruitment for the PKK.
The court said charges against the pro-Kurdish deputy were confirmed by testimonies of secret witnesses and reports on the Molotov attacks provided by police.
The deputy, who stood trial on charges of PKK membership in 2007, was released from jail in July of the same year when she was elected to Parliament in general elections.
Tuncel was elected as an independent candidate from İstanbul's third electoral district with support from the DTP, which was shut down in 2009 by the Constitutional Court for promoting separatism. The BDP was founded to replace the DTP. Most of the DTP-backed independents later joined the new party.