Judicial Independence and Access to Justice Witness: The witness was a prosecutor in different cities in Turkey between 2004 and 2016. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as an expert on the High Judiciary Council. From 2012 to 2013, he served as a member of the Council of Europe, the Advisory Council of European Prosecutors. The witness testified that he was suspended from his post on 16 July 2016 and eventually expelled from his function. He was also detained and arrested on the same day.
The witness stated that immediately after his arrest, he requested the prosecutor and judges to confront him with the evidence. According to the witness, the casefile did, however, only consist of one page – a decision of the Ankara Prosecutor ordering his arrest. This document did not mention any specific allegations or evidence. To this page, the witness stated that a list was attached with 2745 names of judges and prosecutors. The prosecutor and judges informed the witness that they had to arrest him because otherwise they risked being arrested themselves.
The witness testified to having spent thirty months in prison under severe conditions. During this time, he did not manage to access his casefile which was kept secret. Normally a specific procedure would have to be followed for judges and prosecutors (with the High Judicial Council having to start the proceedings) but this procedure was not followed in the witness’ case, he stated. The witness complained about this but without any result. While in prison, he stated that he dit not fully have access to a lawyer since all conversations were listened into by the authorities. During his detention, the witness stated that he was subjected to torture.
The detention of the witness was prolonged since the High Judicial Council delayed his indictment with almost 2 years.
The witness was eventually convicted to 7 years, 9 months and 15 days in prison. The evidence that was used against him was, according to the witness, the fact that he had worked abroad and that he had a PhD. There was no evidence that he had neglected his duty. After his release, the witness could not find any employment anymore and eventually fled abroad.