Turkey’s judicial board speeds up disciplinary files, anticipating new law

Turkey’s judicial board speeds up disciplinary files, anticipating new law

ANKARA - Hürriyet
Turkey’s judicial board speeds up disciplinary files, anticipating new law

DHA Photo

Turkey’s key judicial board has sped up rulings on the disciplinary sanctions for a number of judges and prosecutors, before a controversial draft bill currently being debated at Parliament is passed into law, giving the government more control over the body.

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) discussed existing disciplinary cases during a meeting on Jan. 15, daily Hürriyet reported.

The board deliberated the cases after Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who was chairing the first part of the meeting, left.

Bozdağ does not have the authority to be present during internal decision processes, according to current HSYK legislation. However, the proposed new legislation not only gives the justice minister the right to attend such meetings, but he will also hold the final approval authority for disciplinary cases. If the bill passes into law, he will also have the right to reopen dismissed cases.

Daily Hürriyet cited “thousands of complaints” against prosecutors and judges who were involved in the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup cases that could be reviewed upon a decision from Bozdağ.

Following complaints two weeks ago, the HSYK decided to examine the prosecutors who have been conducting the extensive graft probe, as well as freshly appointed Istanbul Police Chief Selami Altınok.
The list included the Istanbul deputy chief prosecutor who supervised the other prosecutors, Zekeriya Öz, Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş and Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı. All three of these have all been reassigned to minor posts since.

A disciplinary process has also been opened against the prosecutors and judges who rejected the release demands of jailed Kurdish lawmakers, despite a Constitutional Court decision establishing a precedent for the end of their detention as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial.

The most significant decision made on Jan. 15 was the approval of the “condemnation” of a prosecutor who had received a complaint after opening a trial against 10 police officers who performed a search at a local Workers’ Party (İP) headquarters in 2010.