Turkey Denies Jailed Philanthropist’s Request for Freedom

Turkey’s top court rejected a philanthropist’s appeal to get out of jail on Tuesday, in a case that’s being closely watched by Western allies as a litmus test of the country’s judicial independence.

Businessman Osman Kavala has been in prison for more than three years over accusations he financed anti-government rallies in 2013 and collaborated with a secretive religious group during the failed military coup in 2016. A court in February cleared him of any wrongdoing during the protests, but he’s still held in prison over the most recent charges.

Kavala denies taking part in the putsch attempt and asked the Constitutional Court to be released on the ground that he didn’t have access to alleged evidence tying him to it.

Turkey has so far rejected calls from Washington and European capitals to release Kavala. Diplomats from the U.S. and Europe, as well as representatives of the Amnesty International human rights group, attended Kavala’s last hearing earlier this month.

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