Turkish President Gül to officials: Smooth path for release of Ergenekon convict with cancer
Fatih Hilmioğlu, (L), the former rector of İnönü University, is seen at his son’s funeral. He is diagnozed with cancer and serving his 23 years term. Hürriyet photoPresident Abdullah Gül has urged the acceleration of the procedure needed to release a convict in the Ergenekon case who has been diagnosed with cancer.
The trial of Fatih Hilmioğlu, the former rector of İnönü University in the eastern province of Malatya, is still pending appeal, and Gül said he thought it would be more appropriate to try him without detention.
Speaking during a joint press conference following talks with visiting Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Gül’s remarks came when reminded of news reports claiming that he, who as president does not have the power to grant amnesty, had given instructions to the relevant authorities to have Hilmioğlu tried without detention.
He said it was wrong to assume that he had the authority to directly pardon anyone.
“I can only step in if files come before me after a certain procedure from the [Council of the] Forensic Medicine. In this regard, I wish for the files both of those who are ill and those who are getting very old to reach me at once, so that I can do my part,” Gül said.
“There are instructions for the acceleration of these matters and to have these works done more meticulously,” he added.
Gül said he approached the issue from a “humanitarian aspect,” stressing that there were many old and ill convicts or detainees.
“All of these cases must be very annoying for all of us. One of these is the former rector [Hilmioğlu]. Of course, these kinds of files should come before me at once,” Gül said.
Hilmioğlu, who was sentenced to 23 years in jail for his alleged involvement in the Ergenekon coup plot case, has been diagnosed with stage three liver cancer, his family said earlier this month.
His lawyers filed an individual application to the Constitutional Court for his release on Jan. 16, citing a breach of the right to life and a violation of his right to a fair trial.