Court rejects arrested MP’s release request
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court on June 13 rejected the release request of an arrested lawmaker, who is accused of plotting to overthrow government.
The ruling dealt another blow to hopes that a recent amendment package to the criminal code, known as the “third judicial package,” would lead to the release of deputies currently in prison pending trial.
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmaker Engin Alan, who is on trial in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup-plot case, as well as other high-profile suspects on trial, had applied to the court to be released as a part of the amendments. However, the requests of Alan, Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, former Air Forces Commander Halil İbrahim Fırtına, former Navy Commander Özden Örnek and 250 other suspects including active and retired soldiers, were rejected.
The amendments approved earlier this month extended the scope of judicial control measures. Judges will now be able to implement judicial control without a maximum limit - which was previously only applicable for those facing charges punishable with up to three years in jail - instead of using detention.
But in its decision, the court said the measures in the amendments were already in place when the suspects were arrested.
“Such measures were not implemented considering the severity of the crime the suspects are charged with,” the ruling said. “In the current situation, the measures will be insufficient. For this reason, the requests for release have been rejected.”