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Prosecutor asks for aggravated life sentence for dismissed Kurdish mayor

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A Turkish prosecutor on Friday demanded an aggravated life sentence for the dismissed co-mayor of Nusaybin in southeastern Turkey on charges of terrorism.

Sara Kaya, a Kurdish mayor who was detained in a house raid on Jan. 13, 2017 and subsequently arrested, testified at a hearing on Friday in Mardin via teleconference, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

The prosecutor asked for an aggravated life sentence for the former co-mayor, who is being held in pretrial detention, thus precluding any chance of parole.

Kaya is accused of providing municipal vehicles to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Kaya is charged with supporting terrorism and inciting hatred and animosity among the people.

In her defense, Kaya argued that counterterrorism unit chief Ünal Uyar fabricated the evidence against her. Kaya said she is charged because she was the elected mayor, while the local governor is not being investigated in the same case. Kaya said she dispatched the vehicles upon the request of the local governor of the time.

Kaya will remain in prison on the grounds that she presents a flight risk until the next hearing in January.

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