Lawyer demands jailed CHP MP Berberoğlu’s release in petition to Constitutional Court after retrial ruling
The lawyer of jailed main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu sent a petition to the Constitutional Court on Oct. 11, demanding his client’s release following a local court ruling over his retrial in an espionage case.
Murat Ergün demanded Berberoğlu’s release in his petition issued to an Istanbul regional court, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court and the Constitutional Court, two days after the Istanbul regional court’s second penal chamber reversed a previous ruling that sentenced the CHP deputy to 25 years in jail on charges of “revealing secret information on the security of the state or for its domestic and external political benefits with political or military espionage purposes” in a case on Syria-bound National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks.
In his petition, Ergün noted that the reference made to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights decisions at the Oct. 9 appeals ruling had been matched up with previous justifications in their plea and also appeals petitions that had earlier been issued to the court.
He said it was currently impossible to mention Berberoğlu’s “possible escape” as there was no penalty sentence left on the deputy according to the appeals ruling.
The petition also stressed that Berberoğlu’s imprisonment “posed a clear obstacle” in the face of the manifestation of the national will, citing his status as a member of parliament.
The upper Istanbul regional court’s third department will now review Ergün’s petition on Berberoğlu’s release.
Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 14 for allegedly “leaking state secrets” in the MİT trucks case, in which he is accused of providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show the intelligence agency trucking weapons allegedly to Syria.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court had ruled that Berberoğlu, the first CHP lawmaker to be given prison time, had “knowingly helped a terror organization” by providing “state secrets” to the media when gendarmerie forces halted the trucks near the Syrian border on Jan. 19, 2014.