Pinar Selek’s lawyers will appeal to the Supreme Court

29 Jan

You have sentenced as the one and only our Pınar alone to life imprisonment

The life sentence you have given is null and void

We stand by Pınar’s acquittal

Our struggle continues

There has been a new scandalous court judgment in the Spice Bazaar case which has turned into a never-ending story in fifteen years: Pınar Selek alone has been given a life sentence. Let us recall that Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court had given Pınar Selek an acquittal for a third time on February 9, 2011.  The Court had revoked its own final ruling of acquittal on November 22, 2012 violating both procedural and criminal law.

After the court acted again against due process and rejected the demand of recusal from Pınar Selek’s lawyers, today, in the hearing on January 24, 2013 the acquittal of Abdülmecit Öztürk, the other defendant in the Spice Bazaar explosion was confirmed on the grounds that his acquittal was not appealed to the Supreme Court. Then  the court went on to hand down a life sentence for Pınar Selek alone concerning the Spice Bazaar case. In this way, the other defendant’s testimony that was obtained under torture and subsequently denied in open court was not accepted as valid evidence by the court for him. However, the very same testimony that was deemed invalid in the case of Öztürk was taken as a valid basis for the judgment against Pınar Selek. Chief Judge of the Court offered a dissenting opinion and voted in favor of Pınar Selek’s acquittal on the grounds that the Court had the right to insist on its acquittal ruling and that there was no adequate evidence for a conviction. However, based on the votes of the other two judges in the Board, the court issued the verdict with a two to one majority. But this is not the final judgment; domestic ways of seeking legal recourse have not yet been exhausted and this unlawful verdict will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

For those of us who observed this gross miscarriage of justice with outcry at the courthouse, as well as for the public opinion in Turkey and across the world, this ruling is totally worthless. Moreover this most recent verdict is also legally null and void. The same local court has not hesitated in issuing two contradictory rulings—insisting upon the acquittal and compliance with the decision to revoke the acquittal. For this reason, we stand by the last ruling of acquittal on February 9, 2011.

Our struggle for law and justice will resolutely continue during the appeal process at the Supreme Court with growing national and international support. We underline that Pınar Selek’s innocence lasts as always. Seeing that Pınar Selek is tried to be converted into the victim of a big political operation, we also declare that we will never let go of our friend Pınar’s hand. After all, a country where oppression is imposed on us in the name of justice is a prison for us all!

We are still Witnesses” Platform

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