Istanbul (AP) - In the trial against the accused in Turkey of terror charges accused German human rights activist Peter Steudtner, the prosecutor's office has demanded acquittal.
Reason is a lack of evidence. Steudtner had not arrived for the hearing. A verdict was not yet. The next court date is scheduled for 19 February.
The prosecution also proposed an acquittal for Steudtner's Swedish colleague Ali Gharavi and three others of the eleven defendants. Five defendants are to be sentenced for terrorist support from the point of view of the prosecutor.
For the accused in the same procedure honorary chairman of the human rights organization Amnesty International in Turkey, Taner Kilic, he demanded however a punishment for membership in a terrorist organization. An Amnesty representative, Andrew Gardner, reacted with sharp criticism. "Even for the very low standards of processes that take place in such cases, that was a really unexpected and really bad result today," he told the German Press Agency. Certain allegations have already been found to be wrong, but the prosecutor did not recognize that in his opinion. "It's as if the last two years of trial had never happened."
All accused were accused of membership in a terrorist organization or terrorist support. It holds up to 15 years in prison. Mr. Steudtner had been in Turkish custody for more than 100 days before he was allowed to leave in October 2017 at the beginning of the trial.
As of 2017, the case and several other "political reasoning" cases had a heavy burden on Turkish-German relations. In the meantime, the relationship had relaxed somewhat after the release of prominent victims. Recently, however, the number of Germans had risen again in conflict with the Turkish judiciary. According to official data from last week, there are currently 60 Germans in Turkish custody. In February, the number was 47. The Foreign Ministry in Berlin, however, no longer publicly, how many cases are "political" - which is about terror allegations or presidential infamy.