Istanbul court rejects CHP MP Berberoğlu retrial appeal, keeps 25-year jail sentence
An Istanbul court on Nov. 7 rejected an appeals court order to retry main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Enis Berberoğlu, ruling to maintain his 25-year jail term on espionage charges.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court said in its ruling that an Istanbul regional court order to retry the deputy violated the principle and the law, handing the file back to the appeals court.
It noted that the appeals court had the full authority to review the case and said there is no need for it to carry out the retrial order.
The reversal of the decision by the appeals court is “without due process of law and is against the law,” so the high criminal court has no room to reach a verdict in the case, said the decision.
An Istanbul regional court ordered a retrial for Berberoğlu on Oct. 9, reversing a previous ruling by a local court that ordered 25 years in jail in the case of allegedly weapons-loaded National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks bound for Syria.
Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 14 for allegedly “leaking state secrets” in the MİT trucks case, in which he is accused of providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show the intelligence agency trucking weapons for Syria.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court had ruled that Berberoğlu, the first CHP lawmaker to be given prison time, had “knowingly helped a terror organization” by providing “state secrets” to the media when gendarmerie forces halted the trucks near the Syrian border on Jan. 19, 2014.