Summary of proceedings for removal of four ex-ministers' immunity reaches Parliament
Former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, former EU Minister Egemen Bağış and former Interior Minister Muammer Güler (L-R) are all implicated in corruption allegations. DHA photoA summary of proceedings for the removal of four ex-ministers’ immunities was submitted to Parliament on Feb. 28 and will be discussed in the first session of the General Assembly after the upcoming local polls, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has said.
The move comes over corruption claims regarding former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, former EU Minister Egemen Bağış, former Interior Minister Muammer Güler and former Environment and Construction Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar.
Çiçek dismissed criticisms that the submission of these summaries of proceedings to Parliament had been deliberately delayed, stressing that no legal indictments had yet been prepared regarding the former ministers. “No different procedure has been applied. On the contrary, I wrote to Parliament’s Legal Affairs Directorate for the urgent examination of these proceedings,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency on March 5.
The four ex-ministers had to resign from their positions following the launch of the corruption and graft probe on Dec. 17. Due to their parliamentary immunity, ministers can only be prosecuted if Parliament votes to lift their immunity. If it isn’t lifted, prosecutors can only move to prosecute MPs once their tenure in Paliament has been completed.
Explaining why the summaries of proceedings for the four ex-ministers was not submitted to Parliament before it went to recess ahead of the March 30 local elections, Çiçek said they were only submitted to his office on Feb. 28 and it had taken a couple of days for his office to examine them.
“We have now concluded the necessary examination of these proceedings and completed a report. It will be read in the first session of the General Assembly [after the local elections],” he said.
HH CHP, MHP in action
After Çiçek announced that the summary of proceedings had reached Parliament, the opposition parties mobilized to investigate the files. Under normal conditions, the opposition can only secure information about such files after they are read at the General Assembly. However, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) applied to the office of the Parliament Speaker in order to get these files in advance.