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Attorney Levent Pişkin is being charged for meeting his client Selahattin Demirtaş

Cansu Pişkin reported in Evrensel on Sunday that the indictment against Levent Pişkin, who was originally detained in November and then provisionally released two days later, has been finalized.

In the indictment Levent Pişkin, the lawyer who was taken into custody last year for meeting with jailed HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in jail, has been charged due to fulfilling the duties of an attorney. In the indictment, Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor Gökhan Şen has accused Pişkin of using his attorney ID to visit his client Demirtaş in jail. Pişkin responded to the indictment by saying, “This is a result of attacks against HDP and attempts to leave Demirtaş and other MPs alone and attorneyless.”

Pişkin added: “The fact that the indictment refers to Demirtaş as ‘the leader of a terror organization’ indicates the prosecution’s flawed understanding and its disconnect from legality… This is neither the first nor the last attack against lawyers, but we will adamantly continue defending our people’s rights.”

COMMUNICATIONS WITH COLLEAGUE CONSIDERED ‘EVIDENCE’

In the indictment, Levent Pişkin’s phone call with fellow attorney Cahit Kırkazak, who was taken into custody in the same investigation as Pişkin, was deemed to be “Phone communications within the organizational hierarchy.”

The charges in the indictment against Pişkin are as follows: “[Pişkin] used his attorney ID to visit HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş, who is currently jailed in Edirne Penitentiary, and accepted Kırkazak’s proposal for a message from Demirtaş to Germany and Europe, which would be released to the German magazine Der Spiegel, to be written by hand in his notebook, as his status as an attorney would allow them to avoid problems that might arise while leaving the detention center. In doing so, Pişkin brought Demirtaş’s arrest to the international agenda and worked to integrate the arrest into lobbying efforts on the international stage…” Pişkin’s membership in the WhatsApp group named “HDPIstanbul” was also included in his list of crimes.

In the indictment, the prosecution claimed that many stories in Der Spiegel, a magazine published weekly in Germany, “Contain insults to the Turkish state and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spread unfounded news that insults, teases and belittles the country, and pursues an editorial policy that stokes public opinion against the country in order to discredit the nation on the international stage.”

Pişkin was originally taken into custody during a raid conducted on his house on November 14, 2016. Accused of securing the publication of HDP Co-President Demirtaş’s note through Der Spiegel and thereby facilitating contributions to international lobbying efforts against Turkey, Pişkin was detained for 2 days under the orders of the Bursa Prosecutor’s Office and then released with court orders for him to stay in the country. Of the 12 people that had been taken into custody as part of the Bursa Prosecutor’s Office investigation, 5 were arrested.

 Oya Aktaş

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