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Turkish court sentences Kavala to life in prison

Person, Human, Audience Thomson Reuters

A Turkish court sentenced philanthropist Osman Kavala to life in prison on Monday finding him guilty of attempting to overthrow the government by financing 2013 nationwide protests, in a case that Europe’s top court and Ankara’s Western allies said was politically motivated.

Kavala, 64, has been in jail for 4-1/2 years without a conviction and denies the charges he and 15 others face over the Gezi protests, which began as small demonstrations in an Istanbul park and snowballed into nationwide anti-government unrest, in which eight protesters were killed.

The court also sentenced several others to 18 years in jail for aiding an attempt to overthrow government. The court said it decided to acquit Kavala of espionage charge due to lack of evidence.