Anadolu Kültür executive board chairman and jailed businessman Osman Kavala on Monday wrote a letter to mark his sixth month in pretrial detention, underlining that he is still waiting to be indicted.
The letter, which was published on his website, stated that “the number of imprisoned people waiting for their indictments in uncertainty as I am is not low, which points to an imbalance in the mechanism of a fair trial.”
An İstanbul court ruled to arrest Kavala on Nov. 1, following 13 days in police custody, on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic.
“When the prosecutor’s office refers to an offense that requires a severe punishment, the judge feels obliged to rule for pretrial detention. These rulings issued without sufficient evidence also have an impact on the process of indictment preparation. The efforts to justify detention with the help of evidence collected after the arrest render this process long and problematic,” Kavala said in his letter.
Just before his arrest, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared Kavala a criminal and the “Turkish Soros,” implying that Kavala was plotting to undermine his rule.
Kavala’s letter also stressed that “strong doubt” should not have been enough to make an arrest, saying: “Since the presumption of innocence is a key element of the right to a fair trial, the norms of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights do not consider ‘strong doubt’ to be sufficient for an arrest warrant, which is an extraordinary measure, and require that concrete evidence be sought.”