Turkish court orders continuation of jailed CHP MP Enis Berberoğlu’s arrest
Jailed main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu on Jan. 16 testified in a hearing through an audio visual system after he refused to wear handcuffs while being escorted to court, which ruled for the continuation of his arrest.
The court board postponed the trial to Feb. 13, Berberoğlu’s lawyer Murat Ergün said, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
“There are two issues that are missing [regarding the case]. These are issues which we evaluate could be advantageous for the defendant. For these two missing issues to be complete, the trial has been postponed… Our opinion is that in light of new documents and information to be added to the file Berberoğlu’s innocence will be proved and he will be released that day,” Ergün said after the hearing on Jan. 16.
Berberoğlu, currently behind bars in Istanbul’s Maltepe Prison for allegedly “leaking state secrets,” was sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 14, 2017. Berberoğlu, the first CHP lawmaker to be given prison time, is accused of providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks sending weapons to Syria.
Berberoğlu refused to be escorted wearing handcuffs to the Istanbul Regional Court for his hearing on Jan. 16. As a result, he was reported to have testified through the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS) from prison.
CHP deputies, including Gürsel Tekin, Barış Yarkadaş, Engin Altay, Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, and Sezgin Tanrıkulu, were present at the courtroom on Jan. 16 to show their support for Berberoğlu.
“We are keeping our hopes high for Feb. 13. We wholeheartedly believe that justice will be served on Feb. 13. We want to trust independent courts. We believe that the shadow on justice will be gone on Feb. 13, which will also be the day people will say ‘Despite everything, there are still courts,’” Altay said.