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Presidential candidate Demirtaş’s lawyers apply to Constitutional Court for release

Selahattin Demirtaş

Lawyers for Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), on Tuesday applied to Turkey’s Constitutional Court for his release, the news website T24 reported.

After the Supreme Election Board’s official announcement of Demirtaş’s presidential candidacy, lawyers applied to the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court for his release on May 15, but the judges refused to grant it.

They then filed an objection with the Ankara 20th High Criminal Court; however, that court also refused his release on the basis that he would destroy the evidence against him.

The HDP’s ex-leader Demirtaş has been in pretrial detention since November 2016.

The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office drafted an indictment in January 2017 demanding a sentence of 142 years’ imprisonment on charges of being the director of a terrorist organization.

Başak Demirtaş, the wife of Demirtaş on May 16 said following a prison visit that her husband is holding rally for his cellmate in prison, HDP deputy Abdullah Zeydan.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce and İYİ (Good) Party presidential candidate Meral Akşener call on government to release Demirtaş.

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