The new prosecutor of the trial related to the Spice Bazaar blast in Istanbul in the late 1990s reiterated the claim for an aggravated life sentence for Pınar Selek. Her father Alp Selek told bianet that the prosecutor repeated the final speech given seven years earlier.
The trial related to the blast at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul in 1998 has been pending for 14 years. Sociologist and writer Pınar Selek was acquitted three times in the scope of the case that was continued on Wednesday (7 March) before the Beşiktaş Special Authority High Criminal Court.
The hearing was attended by Selek’s father and joint attorney Ali Selek, her sister Seyda, members of the Platform ‘We are still witnesses’, friends of Selek, and some journalists and writers.
None of the defendants appeared at court.
Despite the decision for acquittal given on 9 February 2011, Prosecutor Mehmet Ali Uysal reiterated the plea made seven years earlier and demanded an aggravated life sentence for Pınar Selek.
Lawyer Alp Selek told bianet, “He does not know the file very well. The court gave a decision of insistence. It is not right to read the same plea as done seven years ago again now. Therefore, the repetition of the final plea and the demand for an aggravated life sentence are entirely void. Many parts of the file have changed in the meantime”.
The previous session on 7 March was the first hearing with Prosecutor Mehmet Ali Uysal who previously worked at the Samandağ Public Prosecution, the justice inspectorate and the Şişli Public Prosecution. He replaced prosecutor Nuri Ahmet Saraç who was displaced from the case and appointed as investigation prosecutor.
Pınar Selek is tried in the scope of the blast on the Spice Bazar in 1998. She was acquitted because the reason for the explosion that left seven people dead could not be fully determined. The Court of Appeals 9th Criminal Chamber quashed the verdict for her acquittal and requested the court to sentence Selek. Thereupon, the case returned to the Istanbul court which insisted on its previous decision and once again ruled for Selek’s acquittal.
The file was forwarded to the Court of Appeals for a second time. The superior court demanded Selek’s prosecution for a life sentence. The Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor objected the decision upon the request of Selek’s lawyers. The file was then reviewed by the Court of Appeals Criminal General Assembly. The assembly upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals.
Subsequent to the decision of reversal by the Court of Appeals General Assembly, the Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court insisted on its ruling for Selek’s acquittal at the 9 February hearing. Thus, Pelek was acquitted for the third time.
At the previous hearing, Court President Vedat Yılmaz Abdurrahmanoğlu decided to bring defendant Kadriye Kübra Sevgi who is tried without arrest to court. However, she could not be found. If she is still untraceable until the next hearing, her file will be separated from the main file.
The next hearing was scheduled for 1 August. (IC)