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POLITICS >Military draft law to increase authority of commanders, prime minister

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Chief of General Staff Gen Necdet Özel (C) is seen in Ankara. DHA photo

Chief of General Staff Gen Necdet Özel (C) is seen in Ankara. DHA photo

The Turkish Prime Minister will have the final word on whether the Chief of General Staff will be tried by civilian courts for incidents and decisions related to his position, according to a new draft bill sent to Parliament by the government.

The bill, which came after a similar bill which gives conditions to the Chief of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT), also grants special immunity from searches and enrollment to the military for judges and prosecutors.

Prosecution against the Chief of General Staff and Commanders-in-Chief of the armed forces will only be allowed with the permission of the Prime Minister. The civilian courts will also have to take permission from the Interior Minister to prosecute commanders of the gendarmerie forces and the Coast Guard Command. The rest of the military personnel will be prosecuted in civilian courts, with the permission of the Defense Minister, according to the draft bill. The Defense Minister will chair the Military Judges Board, which will be composed of four judges appointed by the Prime Minister among the names proposed by the Defense Minister. This board will make decisions on the enrollment rights of military personnel, as well as deciding on suspensions and discipline penalties.

The bill also amends the “death penalties” in the Military Penal Code into the “aggravated life sentences.”  

Civilians will not be tried in military courts, with the exception of being in a state of war.

Lawmakers, judges, public prosecutors, military judges, lawyers, local administrators, the court of accounts personnel, and those whose duties are defined by international law will be exempt from body searches, except for crimes concerning the high criminal courts.  Those people’s cars will be exempt from searches too.

December/21/2014

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