A court in Turkey has sentenced the mayor of Istanbul to more than two-and-a-half years in prison for insulting public officials in a speech, the BBC reports.
Ekrem Imamoglu was accused of the offence after saying those who annulled local elections in 2019 were “fools”.
Imamoglu, 52, beat a candidate from Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan’s AK Party to claim the city’s mayoralty.
His conviction may disqualify him from holding political office or standing in next year’s presidential election.
Imamoglu, from the secular Republican People’s Party, is seen as one of the opposition’s strongest candidates to take on Mr Erdogan in elections which have to be held by next June.
The case centres around comments Imamoglu made after he narrowly won the March 2019 mayoral election.
The result was annulled following complaints from the AKP about voting irregularities and the election board ordered a re-run.