European Fact-finding mission to clarify the circumstances leading to the conviction of 18 Turkish lawyers

A group of 15 lawyers from 7 European countries met in Istanbul from 13 till 15 October 2019 for a fact-finding mission to clarify the legal circumstances that led to the conviction of 18 Turkish lawyers by the 37th High Criminal Court in March of this year, resulting in long prison sentences.

During their stay in Istanbul, the European lawyers held talks with the defence lawyers of the 18 Turkish lawyers convicted, with 4 lawyers imprisoned in Silivri, including the chairman of the Turkish lawyers’ organisation CHD, Selçuk KOZAGAÇLI, with defence lawyers from other politically motivatedtrials before the 37th High Criminal Court (see above), with the President of the Istanbul Bar Association, and with members of the Turkish Parliament.

They have also examined the question, taking into account the reasons for the judgement,

  • the extent to which the independence of the court was respected in the proceedings,
  • whether the principle that no one should be tried twice for the same offence has been respected (ne bis in idem),
  • whether the principles of a fair trial applicable under Turkish and European law have been respected,
  • whether the evidence satisfied the legal requirements.

Following their visit, the observers will record the results of their visit in a report, draw the necessary legal conclusions and ask the Turkish Minister of Justice for an interview to present the results of their visit and their conclusions.


Find the full press release here.


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