ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - A Turkish court in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir on Thursday acquitted the leading politician and Sakharov Laureate Leyla Zana in a 'terror' related trial in which prosecutors were asking up to 15 years in prison.
This is the second time in four months a court has absolved the lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Zana of any wrongdoing in different cases.
A prosecutor's indictment against Zana argued that she was a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group waging a decades-long guerrilla warfare on the Turkish state over suppression of Kurdish identity and political demands.
But other charges Zana faced including "disseminating propaganda on behalf of a terror group" and "attending illegal meetings and walks despite warnings by authorities not to do so" remained, reported Kurdistan 24's Diyarbakir bureau.
A speech she made on the International Women's Day in 2012 in which she expressed her hope for the freedom of the imprisoned PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan was among the charges against her.
Police briefly detained her in February Diyarbakir, only to release her after an interrogation.
Zana, who was recently in the Kurdistan Region to pay her last respect to the late Kurdish revolutionary and former President of Iraq Jalal Talabani, herself did not attend the trial, relying on her defense attorney to present her case.
An ongoing crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has seen thousands of Kurdish politicians, including local party officials, over 80 elected mayors and a dozen lawmakers jailed.
The HDP's charismatic Co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, the party's former leader Figen Yuksekdag remain imprisoned along nine other MPs.
So far the Turkish Parliament has also ousted five HDP lawmakers from their seats, reducing the number of the opposition bloc's representatives to 54 in the 550-seated assembly.
Zana rose to prominence in 1991, after being elected as the first Kurdish woman in the Turkish Parliament.
Her wearing of a headband with the three colors of green, red and yellow found in the flag of Kurdistan and taking the oath in Kurdish during the 1991 swearing-in ceremony resulted in her arrest by police in the Parliament's yard.
Later in 1994, a court sentenced her to 15 years of incarceration for "treason and membership in the PKK," because of a speech she gave on Kurdish rights during a visit to the United States.
Editing by Ava Homa