New requirements for prosecutors in Turkey's bribery case raise impartiality concerns
Fatih Yağmur ISTANBUL - Radikal
“The proceedings will be done with two of three prosecutors’ signatures,” Istanbul chief prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı said in a circular sent to prosecutors on the case.The consent of two of three prosecutors looking into Turkey’s ongoing corruption investigation will now be required to make decisions in the case, according to a new measure that has raised concerns over judicial impartiality.
“While determining an advance ruling or in the case of any legal conflict on any issue, the proceedings will be done with two of three prosecutors’ signatures,” Istanbul chief prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı said in a circular sent to prosecutors on the case.
Over 50 people, including the sons of three Cabinet members, were taken into custody on Dec. 17 as part of a corruption investigation that has sent shockwaves across Turkey.
On Dec. 18, Ekrem Aydıner and Mustafa Erol were appointed to the case as two additional prosecutors, to work alongside Celal Kara and Mehmet Yüzgeç, two prosecutors already looking into the probe.
The move prompted some jurists to worry that it may lead to the pacification of prosecutors who have been in charge of the case from the beginning, but others suggested it was merely a procedure.
Lawyer Ömer Kavili criticized the move, calling it direct interference into the investigation and a threat against prosecutors.
“The main investigation prosecutor, Celal Kara, is being [sidelined] as he will not be able to take any decision without persuading at least one or two prosecutors,” he said, claiming the move amounts to the transfer of authority in the case from Kara to Çolakaldı.
However, two lawyers speaking to daily Hürriyet, Celal Ülgen and Mustafa Doğan İnal, said the measure was normal in such comprehensive cases and that the chief prosecutor might be seeking to ensure a division of labor.