Former ministers may be retried, says Turkish deputy PM

Former ministers may be retried, says Turkish deputy PM

Former ministers may be retried, says Turkish deputy PM

DHA Photo

Previous examples show that four former Turkish ministers who were formerly indicted on corruption charges before being acquitted could face another parliamentary indictment, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said. 

“I have been in parliament since 1995. I have seen that this could happen,” Arınç told journalists on the sidelines of an Istanbul conference on June 12, giving examples from previous elections that changed the balance of seats in parliament. 

However, he said constitutional law experts were split on the issue of such retrials, and also noted that sending the four ministers to the Supreme Court had already been voted on in parliament and the outcome was negative. 

The debate on the cases of four ministers - Egemen Bağış, Erdoğan Bayraktar, Zafer Çağlayan and Muammer Güler who were embroiled in the corruption allegations – has heated up after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority in the recent general election, leading to possible coalition negotiations. 

All of the opposition parties at parliament have raised the issue of government corruption and the future of the former ministers, whose cases were previously quashed in parliament due to the AKP’s majority vote. 

The AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claim that the probes into ministers, which began at the end of 2013, as well as a series of illegal wiretappings, were part of efforts to topple the government by followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.