Constitutional Court rules retrial of former CHP MP Berberoğlu over breach of rights
The Constitutional Court ruled on Sept. 17 that former main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu’s right to stand for election and engage in political activities along with his right to freedom and security have been breached for which a retrial will take place for Berberoğlu under the unanimous violation decision of the top court.
The Constitutional Court ruled for a violation of rights and a retrial for Berberoğlu on the grounds that he had been dismissed from deputyship with a final sentence of five years and 10 months before his application was concluded.
The Constitutional Court’s General Assembly ruled that the decision will be sent to the Court of Cassation for his retrial in order for the outcomes of the violation to be removed.
CHP’s Deputy Chair Muharrem Erkek welcomed the ruling of the Constitutional Court.
“Even if it’s late, the Constitutional Court unanimously said ‘stop’ to this injustice on Sept. 17,” Erkek said at a press conference.
Berberoğlu faced a major injustice, he stated.
The decision will be read in the general assembly of the parliament after it gets published in the Official Gazette, and it will be decided whether Berberoğlu’s parliamentary deputyship will be deemed not stripped, Erkek said.
Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2017 on espionage charges for providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucking weapons into Syria.
He was re-elected as an MP in the June 24, 2018 elections. He was released from prison in late 2018 after a 15-month imprisonment.
On June 4, the Turkish Parliament stripped Berberoğlu of his deputyship, along with two other lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). He had been arrested again to serve the remaining of his sentence but was transferred from an open prison to house arrest as part of measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Berberoğlu has applied to the Constitutional Court for a “violation of rights.” He argued that “the right to be elected and to engage in political activities and the right to freedom and the security of a deputy, who regained immunity rights, was violated because the witness of the claim was not present at the hearing.”