Arrest decisions without reasoning is violation of rights: Constitutional Court

Arrest decisions without reasoning is violation of rights: Constitutional Court

Oya Armutçu ANKARA / Hürriyet
Arrest decisions without reasoning is violation of rights: Constitutional Court

Judges should give the details of the reasons why suspects should be kept under arrest, the Constitutional Court says in its latest decision on the issue. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the rights of two suspects were violated by a local court that ruled for the continuation of their trial under arrest without giving any reasoning.

The Constitutional Court decided the two suspects, who were arrested on charges of being members of a terrorist organization five years ago, should be paid compensation for being held in prison for four years during the trial, on the grounds that the local court did not give any reasoning when repeating its decision to continue their arrests.

One of the suspects, identified as F.A., was tried under arrest for three years, 11 months and 24 days, while another, identified as H.A., was tried under arrest for four years, one month and 16 days. The Constitutional Court ruled that they should be paid 8,200 Turkish Liras in total for non-pecuniary costs.

It stated in its reasoning that the duration of the arrests, which was caused by the court’s “unrelated and insufficient” reasoning, could not be regarded as reasonable.

The two suspects were detained by Istanbul police on Dec. 31, 2008 and were arrested by the court on Jan. 3, 2009. They were brought to court once a month and the court decided to continue their detainment without giving any reasoning.

F.A. was released on Nov. 27, 2012 and H.A. was released on Feb. 19, 2013, after which they applied to the Constitutional Court. Their trials are now continuing without arrest.

In their complaint to the Constitutional Court, both demanded 10,000 liras in non-pecuniary and 20,000 liras in pecuniary damages.

The Court ruled that F.A. should be paid 4,000 liras and H.A. should be paid 4,200 liras for non-pecuniary costs, concluding that no pecuniary compensation was needed. It also ruled that court expenses of 2,812 liras should be covered.

The local courts will now have to make clear the reasoning for the continuation of the suspects’ pre-trial detention periods.

In a recent decision, the Constitutional Court also decided for the release of journalist and main opposition deputy Mustafa Balbay, on the grounds that his pre-trial detention period of more than four years had violated his rights.