Demirtaş cites MİT undersecretary’s actions as justifying own refusal to testify

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Selahattin Demirtaş

Jailed co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has said just as National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan’s not going to court to testify when summoned by a prosecutor in 2012 was not considered to be challenging the state, his own refusalto appear in court to testify as part of a terrorism probe should not be considered a challenge to the state.

On Tuesday, the latest hearing of a trial in which Demirtaş faces charges of disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization in a speech made at a party congress in Adana in 2011 was held at the Adana 2nd High Criminal Court.

Demirtaş testified to the court through the IT Voice and Image System (SEGBİS) from Edirne Prison, where he has been jailed since early November.

Demirtaş was imprisoned along with 10 other HDP deputies on the grounds that they did not go to court to testify as part of a terrorism probe.

In his defense Demirtaş said on Tuesday: “Why was the MİT undersecretary’s not going to the prosecutor to testify not considered challenging the state, but [our refusal] is? I just want to draw your attention to this.”

In February 2012, MİT head Fidan ignored a request from an İstanbul prosecutor to testify in an investigation into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) due to MİT agents infiltrated within that organization.

Fidan was summoned to testify together with two former MİT officials. But MİT sent a statement to the prosecutor’s office saying that under MİT rules the prime minister’s office must approve any request for cooperation with an investigation.

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