The ICJ is satisfied by the decision of the No. 1 Ankara Heavy Penal Court on 31 October to acquit 27 lawyers who had been charged with professional misconduct under the Turkish Penal Law.
The ICJ had sent a trial observer, Paul Richmond, Barrister of England and Wales, to observe this hearing which had been previously adjourned twice. Mr Richmond observed the earlier proceedings which took place on 9 May and 11 July.
The charge against the lawyers stemmed from their representation of political prisoners at Uluncular prison during a court proceeding in December 2000. It was at this hearing that the lawyers were alleged to have “shouted slogans” at the court and “incited those persons present in the courtroom to resist the gendarmes.” The charge was dismissed on the ground that it was not supported by sufficient evidence. A full report of the 31 October hearing will be available on the ICJ web site shortly. Reports of the first two hearings are currently available.
The ICJ calls upon the Government to implement the Court’s decision immediately and ensure full respect for the UN Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
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