On November 1, 2019, Kamuran Y. Vesek was arrested and taken into custody for extradition at the instigation of German law enforcement authorities at Zurich Airport. In June 2020 he was transferred to the judicial authorities in Stuttgart. The 34-year-old is on remand in the JVA Stuttgart-Stammheim. Since October 8, 2020, the main proceedings against the activist according to §§ 129a / b StGB have been running before the Higher Regional Court Stuttgart.
The legal aid fund AZADÎ eV spoke with its defense lawyer Alexander Kienzle about the course of the process and published the interview in its new information service:
At the instigation of which federal German law enforcement agency was Switzerland requested to extradite Kamuran Y. Vesek?
The preliminary investigation was carried out by the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s Office. She represents the indictment against the client before the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart.
What exactly is your client being accused of?
The client is accused of having been responsible for the youth structure in Stuttgart in 2014 and of having recruited young people for the armed struggle. In 2015 and 2016 he is said to have been the area manager in Saarland. As in the vast majority of such procedures, it is particularly about the organization of and participation in demonstrations and events, the acquisition of donations and the like.
In the large Stuttgart §129a / b proceedings against four Kurds and one Kurdish woman, which ended at the end of April, a highly questionable key witness played a role who incriminated the accused with all sorts of dubious stories. Nevertheless, the prosecutors and the Senate of the OLG referred to his statements. Are there any statements in your proceedings from dubious people who incriminated or incriminated your client?
After all, as far as I know, the key witness could be confronted in the other proceedings. We are denied the right of confrontation by government agencies. Therefore, I can only say relatively little about the people who are supposed to have incriminated the client. The background to this is that, according to police notes, various informants, who had been assured of confidentiality, are said to have incriminated the client. However, on the basis of blocking declarations by the state authorities, these persons may not be summoned by the court and questioned by us, because otherwise there should be danger for the informants themselves or for state authorities. So one creates domination knowledge that makes defense against certain arguments partially impossible.
The immediate transcripts of the interrogation are also kept secret. In the main hearing, only the source leaders of the informants are heard as hearsay witnesses, who then “analogously” reproduce what these informants are supposed to have reported to them more than five years ago. They prepared themselves for their statements in part with the documents that were not made available to us. This does not meet the claim to equality of arms between prosecution and defense, but is accepted on the basis of applicable law.
Kamuran Y. Vesek, Postal address: JVA Stuttgart, Asperger Str. 60, 70439 Stuttgart
The process has now been going on for eight months. You, too, will presumably not support the efforts of the State Security Senates to “make short work” of the proceedings against Kurdish activists and in your applications you will address the multi-layered political background of the Kurdistan conflict and the international law aspects of the armed resistance of the Kurds Representing Kurds. Can you tell us what other points of criticism and clarification you addressed in your applications and how the Public Prosecutor General and the Senate responded to this?
So far – also due to the evidence program of the Senate – we have dealt very specifically with the problem of a sometimes extremely poorly documented investigative activity and the problems surrounding the informants of the police. Only in the last few weeks has the Kurdistan conflict itself played a bigger role. We will have to deal intensively with these issues in the process. Even now, however, one can say that – to put it somewhat exaggerated – the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Senate may consider it sufficient to portray the PKK as a terrorist organization abroad and to introduce the various events classified as “attacks” into the evidence in order to Illuminate conflict. Of course, that can’t be all.
Is it possible at this point in time to see how long the process will take?
It’s extremely difficult to assess. The Senate signals that its program of evidence is coming to an end. It will then depend on which motions the defense is still submitting and how the Senate will react to this, i.e. whether there is any further evidence worth mentioning.
Finally, we would like to ask how Kamuran Vesek is doing and what the conditions of his detention are like.
According to the circumstances, he is doing fine. The conditions of detention are of course difficult because – as we have already discussed with the Senate – they are to be seen under the restrictions of a so-called terrorism procedure as well as those of the pandemic. For example, visits are only made irregularly. Another problem with the client was that he sometimes had to wait a long time for the necessary medical care. The judicial proceedings initiated for this are still ongoing.
Thank you very much for the interview.