Prosecutor seeks life in jail for CHP lawmaker Berberoğlu
A prosecutor demanded life in prison on Dec. 1 for main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu on espionage charges.
Prosecutor Mustafa Öztürk demanded a life sentence for the CHP deputy for “disclosing information that the state needed to be kept secret for political or military espionage purposes,” as he was on trial at an appeals court after being sentenced to 25 years in jail for allegedly “leaking state secrets” in the case regarding National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks.
Berberoğlu was accused of providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show the MİT transporting weapons to Syria.
Berberoğlu’s lawyer Murat Ergün said the prosecutor did not consider a judicial progress.
“Writing the dictum based on this article shows that judicial progresses were not considered by the prosecutor. However, this dictum is not binding for the court,” he added.
Berberoğlu’s trial has been postponed to Jan. 16, 2018. He will remain under arrest.
The lawmaker’s case came before the appeals court after the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court said in a ruling on Nov. 7 that an Istanbul regional appeals court order to retry the deputy violated the principle and the law, handing the file back to the appeals court.
It noted that the appeals court had the full authority to review the case and said there was no need for it to carry out the retrial order.
The reversal of the decision by the appeals court is “without due process of law and is against the law,” so the high criminal court has no room to reach a verdict in the case, said the decision.
An Istanbul regional court ordered a retrial for Berberoğlu on Oct. 9, reversing a previous ruling by a local court that ordered 25 years in jail in the case of allegedly weapons-loaded National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks bound for 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.
Under the auspices of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the party launched its “justice march” from the capital Ankara to Istanbul in protest shortly after Berberoğlu was sentenced.