5th hearing held in Stuttgart for Kurdish politicians

The fifth hearing for the case against 5 Kurdish politicians was held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Kurdish politicians Veysel S., Agit K., Evrim A. and Ozkan T were on pre-trial detention while Cihan A. was not on remand. The hearing was held in the Stamheim prison courtroom in Stuttgart.

The hearing started at 09:20 on Friday. Lawyers and their clients attended the hearing in person.

Visitors were allowed into the courtroom after strict searches like the previous week, a practice the lawyers have been protesting. Some women attended the hearing wearing white headscarves.

The head judge said Ridvan O., who had testified against the Kurdish politicians, was appointed a new lawyer and the case file had been sent to them, and added that the other lawyers had been sent an informative letter on the matter.

Agit K.’s lawyer Oswal said, “We did not receive any letters that this individual was sent the digital files.” The judge said they will “reconsider the matter”.

Veysel S.’s lawyer Heiming protested the undignified practices imposed upon their clients by the court. Heiming said, “My lawyer has been brought to the courtroom in shackles. Why are you doing this? The prison’s security measures are quite strict, and this practice needs to end at once.”

The lawyers said they could not place why statements from Veysel S.’s testimony in his appeal for asylum when he first arrived in Germany was read in the last two hearings. The lawyers said the practice had no reasonable explanation and submitted a complaint.

The prosecutor appealed and read a document for the panel of judges.

Ozkan T.’s lawyer Dr. Thiee Philipp spoke and said:

“What were the demands posed by Ridvan O. who testified against my client? How much of those were the authorities able to meet? What did they agree to in exchange? Also, how was  his asylum application approved? How can we be sure that this situation was not organized?”

Philipp continued: “And, I checked his case file and his first testimony and the later ones have quite a few contradictions. He will be brought to this court in the coming times so this will be better understood.”

The lawyers also objected to some parts of Ridvan O.’s file being kept confidential and demanded immediate rectification.

The lawyers demanded that the prosecutor who was involved in the investigation who had testified in the previou hearing testify again and asked why part of Ridvan O.’s testimony was still being handled independently from the lawyers present in the hearing.

The defense lawyers asked who provided the lawyer for Ridvan O., to which the head judge said, “We determined and agreed on the lawyer.”

The next hearing was postponed to June 5.