Main opposition deputy Haberal discharged from Silivri Prison following his release
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Mehmet Haberal was greeted by CHP deputies. AA photoMain opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Mehmet Haberal left Silivri Prison in Istanbul hours after the court ordered his release in the Ergenekon trial verdict hearing Aug. 5.
A renowned surgeon and former rector of the private Başkent University located in Ankara, Haberal was one of the most high-profile civilian suspects of the Ergenekon case.
He was elected to the Turkish Parliament after the CHP presented him as a candidate from Zonguldak during the 2011 elections.
"I'm very sad my friends are staying here," Haberal said in his first comment after his release, referring to journalist Mustafa Balbay and Ankara Chamber of Commerce chairman Sinan Aygün, both also elected as CHP deputies in 2011 in similar circumstances.
"I would have liked to leave with all of our friends," he said.
Haberal was first sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison but was subsequently released for having completed his reduced sentence during the trial. He had spent part of his four years and three months in detention at an Istanbul hospital due to heart problems.
Haberal was greeted by fellow CHP deputies and family members outside the prison. Former Turkish President Süleyman Demirel also sent his regards to Haberal, daily Hürriyet reported.
He will be able to enter the Parliament and perform his duties as a CHP deputy as soon as he swears in, according the party's senior officials.