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Court rules to keep Kurdish politician in jail despite election as deputy

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A Turkish court on Wednesday decided to keep Leyla Güven in pre-trial detention despite the fact that she was elected to Parliament in the June 24 general election from the ranks of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Güven, the co-chairperson of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), was detained in a police raid on her house on Jan. 22 over her critical statements about a Turkish military operation in the Afrin region of northern Syria. The politician was jailed by the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court after spending nine days in police custody.

Güven faces charges of leadership of a terrorist organization and spreading the propaganda of a terrorist organization due to her participation in events, delivery of press statements and some of her speeches.

A prison sentence of up to 46 years is being sought for the Kurdish politician.

The first hearing of Güven’s trial was held on Wednesday at the Diyarbakır court, which did not rule for her release although she acquired parliamentary immunity after her election to Parliament on June 24.

The second hearing of Güven’s trial will be held on Nov. 4.

On June 29 the Diyarbakır court ruled for Güven’s release, but a decision was made for her re-arrest due to an objection by the prosecutor to her release.

In the meantime, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) is still awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court of Appeals in the case of jailed CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu.

The CHP applied to the top court on July 2 seeking Berberoğlu’s release on the grounds that he again acquired immunity after being elected to Parliament.

Berberoğlu was arrested in June 2017 immediately after he was handed down a prison sentence of 25 years for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.

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