Main opposition CHP MP Balbay ruling expected for next week
CHP Deputy Mustafa Balbay was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in prison over charges related to the Ergenekon coup trial. Hürriyet photoThe Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court is expected to announce its decision on the release of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Mustafa Balbay next week.
Balbay’s lawyers, Ulaş Özkan and Oktay Yılmaz, petitioned for the release of the lawmaker following a Constitutional Court ruling, which stated that the long imprisonment of Balbay amounted to a “violation of rights.”
The lawyers had been expecting the decision today, as the prosecutor’s observation was conveyed to the Court. However, the Court did not make any announcement on the release.
The Constitutional Court also ruled that Balbay should be paid 5,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for the violation. There are currently six jailed lawmakers apart from Balbay; five from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and one from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The BDP deputies are detained under arrest, while the MHP deputy has been convicted.
Balbay, who was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in prison on charges related to the Ergenekon coup plot trial, had earlier objected the court’s ruling due to his long imprisonment and the violation of his right to a fair trial.
Balbay was elected a CHP deputy in the 2011 elections. The Ergenekon coup plot trial, considered the most important legal battle in recent Turkish history, reached a verdict on Aug. 5, with Istanbul’s 13th High Criminal Court handing down severe punishments, including a life sentence for former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ.