Turkey issues new arrest warrant for jailed businessman Kavala

Istanbul (Reuters) – A Turkish court issued a new arrest warrant on Monday against Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, who was re-arrested last month after being acquitted in a separate trial, one of his lawyers told Reuters.

Kavala had been cleared of charges related to nationwide protests in 2013, but was re-arrested the following day, accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order in a failed coup in 2016.

On Monday, a second arrest warrant was issued in relation to the coup attempt, this time for espionage.

Court documents seen by Reuters said Kavala had been in contact with a man alleged to have spied for foreign governments.

Kavala denies all the charges. After his re-arrest last month, he said President Tayyip Erdogan had intervened to prevent his release from prison.

“The government should find a different occupation for itself,” Kavala’s lawyer Ilkan Koyuncu said.

The cases against Kavala have been criticized by Turkey’s Western allies and rights activists who say the charges are political.

“#OsmanKavala must be released, not face further fabricated charges that are manifestly unfounded,” Milena Buyum, Turkey campaigner for Amnesty International, said on Twitter.