Berberoğlu’s wife says she ‘expects justice’ from Court of Cassation
Oya Armutçu – ANKARA
The wife of jailed lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu has said their lawyers have appealed against a recent Court of Cassation ruling rejecting to stop legal proceedings against the deputy, demanding Berberoğlu gets acquitted of the charges.
“Enis is a political hostage… My eyes are on the Court of Cassation. Let justice be served already. I am hopeful. Justice will correct mistakes it made and its deficiencies,” Oya Berberoğlu, a journalist too, told daily Hürriyet on July 30.
Her comments came after the Court of Cassation on July 20 rejected a demand to end legal proceedings against her husband, who was re-elected in the June 24 snap elections as an MP from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Berberoğlu’s lawyers said the lawmaker was granted immunity from prosecution in the last election and that such a situation would stop the continuation of proceedings against him.
The 16th Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation, however, had said in its ruling: “To be elected as a deputy for the second time does not grant immunity [from prosecution]. It does not stop legal proceedings against Berberoğlu.”
Berberoğlu’s lawyers this week will appeal to the 17th Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation. And as the ruling of the 17th Civil Chamber of the court will have precedent value, it holds a critical significance.
“I am expecting acquittal [decision] from the Court of Cassation, let me say that first. I am talking with many valuable constitution jurists and criminal jurists; that is according to their opinions and as what the law requires, that is what I think,” Oya Berberoğlu said, adding that the deputy should not be “kept in the prison for even one more hour anymore. He should be immediately discharged.”
“The 16th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation has rejected our demand for a release. Thus, we are now appealing to the 17th Penal Chamber. And Enis, righteously, is protesting the Court of Cassation’s last ruling by deciding to cut all external communication. He is unfortunately not communicating with anyone, including me, our daughter, lawyers, and deputies. Legislative immunity has been secured under the Constitution and what is necessary should be done,” she said.
In February, an Istanbul court sentenced Berberoğlu to five years and 10 months in jail after convicting him of disclosing government secrets.
Berberoğlu was initially sentenced in 2017 to 25 years for espionage on charges he gave daily Cumhuriyet a video purporting to show Turkey’s intelligence agency trucking weapons into Syria.
In a retrial that finished on Feb. 13 of this year, Berberoğlu, who has denied the charges, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in jail.