No release in coup case, but hopes alive

No release in coup case, but hopes alive

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
No release in coup case, but hopes alive

Answering a question about the arrested deputies’ situation after recent judiciary amendents, CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu (L) says he hopes the ruling will relieve society. DHA photo

An Istanbul court dashed hopes yesterday that two arrested main opposition deputies would be freed following a judicial reform package, but the MPs could still win their release within a week.

Relatives, journalists and citizens gathered in Istanbul’s Silivri district yesterday for a hearing into the Ergenekon coup plot case with the expectation that Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers Mustafa Balbay and Mehmet Haberal would be released, but the court refused to grant them their freedom.

Amid the court’s decision, EU Minister Egemen Bağış hailed Turkey’s new judicial reform package, saying Turkey now had a judicial system that was in line with EU standards.

“We attach importance to every step taken to achieve such a goal. Jurists should reach verdicts by interpreting the articles introduced in the relevant judicial reform package,” he said, leaving the door open for a possible release later in the week.

The trial will continue today.

Declining to elaborate on the implications of the recently adopted legislation, President Abdullah Gül has simply referred reporters to his earlier remarks on the issue that were in favor of eight arrested deputies’ release.

“From now on, the courts will interpret the adopted laws and will check the legal justifications. They will themselves make their decisions within the framework of the knowledge and laws in their hands,” Gül said in response to reporters’ questions during a press conference. “At the moment, this is the only [thing] I will say.”

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the chairman of the CHP, issued a statement about the arrested deputies’ situation before heading to Ankara from Atatürk Airport. “I don’t have any anticipation. Parliament has made a regulation, the government authorities made statements on that subject. So we keep waiting. I hope the decision will relieve society,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, answering a question about the arrested deputies’ situation after Law No. 6352, also known as the “third judicial package,” was adopted.

When asked whether he expected the arrested deputies to be released, he said, “It is not right to be hopeless, in any case.”

Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek said the cases of the jailed deputies should be examined respectively by the courts since their situations are very different from each other. He also said he “believes the judges will decide in the context of justice, not with the feeling of obstinacy.”

The lawyers of three lawmakers from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Selma Irmak, Kemal Aktaş, Gülser Yıldırım, who are on trial In the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case, also asked yesterday for their release within the context of the third judicial reform package.