Kavala’s acquittal verdict of Gezi protests overturned

The Turkish Court of Appeal overturned the verdict of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala’s acquittal in the Gezi Park case.

The court ordered to continue the trial of Kavala and 8 other defendants after providing the missing evidence, Bianet reported on Friday. The case will be sent back to the first-degree local court.

Osman Kavala, who has been held in pre-trial custody since November 2017 on charges of seeking to overthrow the government, acquitted off terrorism charges relating to the 2013 Gezi park protest movement in February. Immediately after, he remanded in custody over accusations of involvement in the 2016 failed coup attempt.    

Kavala, had been facing life in prison without the possibility of parole in the trial.

Ayşe Mücella Yapıcı, Şerafettin Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, Ali Hakan Altınay, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi, Çiğdem Mater Utku and Mine Özerden are other defendants whose acquittal verdicts have been overturned by the higher court. 

The cases of other defendants, Can Dündar, Mehmet Ali Alabora, Ayşe Pınar Alabora, Gökçe Tüylüoğlu, Handan Meltem Arıkan, Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu and İnanç Ekmekçi, have been separated earlier due to their absence.

The Gezi Park protests started as a small sit-in against the proposed destruction of one of Istanbul’s few remaining green spaces to make way for a shopping mall, but mushroomed into nationwide mass protests after police waded in with batons and tear-gas to break up the demonstration. Eleven people were killed and more than 8,000 injured in the ensuing violence.