Arrest of Doğan Group’s Muratoğlu clashes with ECHR precedents: Former judge
ISTANBULThe arrest of Doğan Group Ankara Administrative Representative Barbaros Muratoğlu does not accord with the precedents of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) because the reasons are irrelevant and insufficient, Rıza Türmen, a former judge for the court, told Hürriyet.
Türmen, who worked under the ECHR for approximately nine years, said the arrest of Muratoğlu was wrong, noting the requirement for a judge to provide relevant and sufficient reasons for detention in addition to reasonable suspicion, according to the precedent in the decision in the case of Buzadji v. the Republic of Moldova on July 5, 2016.
“When you review the decision on Muratoğlu from this perspective, we see that reasons for the arrest are very abstract, irrelevant and insufficient. They are as follows: The suspect consulted with a law firm at a date when it was not possible for him to know that FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organziation] was a terror organization. He is not in a situation to know the relationship of the law firm with FETÖ and he does not need to. A group of journalists had gone to the U.S. and visited the FETÖ ringleader [Fethullah Gülen]. He did up his jacket and stood on the right in a photo. It is not certain how all of these create a reasonable suspicion. It is the first time I have encountered the fact that doing up a jacket is presented as evidence. It is an unserious situation,” Türmen said.
He also added that the arrest of Muratoğlu was a clear violation of ECHR precedents as well as Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“Moreover, the allegation that the suspect would escape, destroy evidence or put pressure on victims or witnesses is not based on any tangible data. For example, did the judge review the suspect’s foreign links and conclude he would escape? Or did the suspect’s personality and character leave an impression that he would destroy evidence or exert pressure? Those are the cliché reasons that we see in every arrest decision. All in all, this arrest decision is a clear violation of Sub-Article 1 of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and ECHR precedents. Due to the same reasons, the ECHR or the Constitutional Court are expected to see this arrest as the limitation of freedom against law. Especially after the latest decision I mentioned above,” Türmen said.
Muratoğlu was arrested late on Dec. 15 over charges of “aiding the armed Fethullahist Terror Organization [FETÖ],” after being held in custody for 14 days.
Among the main reasons for the accusation of aiding a terrorist organization in the probe and his arrest were visiting Fethullah Gülen, taking photographs with him, doing up two buttons on his jacket and making phone calls with lawyers and civil servants.