ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The wife of jailed prominent Kurdish opposition figure Selahattin Demirtas has been sentenced in Turkey to 2.5 years in prison after being convicted of providing inaccurate information about a date in a medical report, his lawyers said.
Lawyers for Basak Demirtas, 44, said she was convicted by a court of an incorrect date on a medical report issued by a doctor in southeastern Diyarbakir province in 2015, that she forwarded to her employer while taking sick leave.
Her husband Selahattin Demirtas, the former leader of the pro-Kurdish party and one of Turkey’s best-known politicians, has been in prison for almost five years on terrorism-related charges which he denies.
European Parliament rapporteur on Turkey Nacho Sanchez Amor said his condemnation seemed “political”.
Amor wrote on Twitter that “2.5 years in prison for a simple clerical error regarding a medical record is appalling and seems beyond common sense. It sounds so political. It gives a measure of the worrying state of Turkish justice. “
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Basak Demirtas is free pending an appeal of his conviction, which could take more than a year to be finalized.
There was an error in the records that could have been corrected by reviewing the local health centre’s appointment book, Demirtas’ lawyers said, adding that they would appeal the decision.
(Written by Ezgi Erkoyun, edited by William Mallard and Jan Harvey)
Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.