Justice reform won’t trigger Öcalan retrial: Minister

Justice reform won’t trigger Öcalan retrial: Minister

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Justice reform won’t trigger Öcalan retrial: Minister

Ergin rejected claims that judicial reforms will lead to Öcalan’s retrial. AA photo

A provisional clause in the fourth judicial package being debated in Parliament’s Justice Commission will not lead to a retrial of the convicted leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said March 28.

The provisional clause provides for the retrial of some convicts whose rights originating from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) had been violated according to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Convicts whose ECtHR rulings are being supervised by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which monitors the execution of judgments of the ECtHR, will have the right to apply for a retrial under the amendment.

An Istanbul court had reviewed the judgment on Öcalan’s conviction following an ECtHR ruling that Öcalan’s right to fair trial was breached, Ergin said, adding that the court had refused his demand for retrial on July 21, 2006.

“The Committee of Ministers of the council found this ruling appropriate and decided that Turkey had fulfilled the ECtHR ruling regarding Öcalan on Feb. 14, 2007... So there’s no ruling before the Committee of Ministers of the council about Öcalan,” Ergin said.

Speaking at the parliamentary panel yesterday, Ergin said the package aimed to remedy Turkey’s ECHR violations originating from legislation.

Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ali İhsan Köktürk said there was no major amendment in the package and questioned the government’s “alleged secret agenda” regarding the package. 

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Celal Adan said the government intended to secure the release of arrested suspects in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case. “For days, you are discussing how KCK suspects can be released as part of this package. Why don’t you openly say that you are aiming for it?” Adan asked.