Demirtaş facing 8-year prison sentence for allegedly targeting civil servant

Turkish prosecutors have demanded an eight-year prison sentence for prominent Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş on charges of threatening and targeting a civil servant, Diken news site reported on Friday.

Demirtaş, currently behind bars on a string of terror charges, is accused of having made the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman a target as a "person in a counterterrorism office" among "supporters of terrorist organizations" during a court hearing ahead of his 2016 arrest, the site said.

The former leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in remarks he made in court had accused Kocaman of conspiring against him, leading to his arrest. Demirtaş also vowed that he would hold the chief public prosecutor “accountable’’ for his actions.

Kocaman is also the prosecutor dealing with the case which shows that the proceedings are not based on an objective standard, Demirtaş's legal counsel stated, demanding for the proceedings to be discontinued and an acquittal. The request was rejected, pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency reported.

Demirtaş was detained alongside other HDP deputies on Nov. 4, 2016 over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed militant group engaged in an internal conflict with Turkey since 1984. Ankara, the EU and the United States designate the PKK a terrorist organisation. The former HDP chairman faces up to 142 years in prison.

Demirtaş, who attended Friday’s hearing via SEGBIS, a court-to-prison teleconferencing system, accused Kocaman of violating judicial ethics in preparing the indictment against him.

The trial was adjourned until April 9, with the court ordering Demirtaş to appear in person in the hearing to be held in Sincan district of Ankara, Diken said.