The ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party submitted to Constitutional Court its written defense on the merits of the closure case filed against the party, on Monday.
AK Party deputy chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, party's group acting chairmen Sadullah Ergin and Bekir Bozdag presented AK Party's defense to the court at 4:45 p.m.
Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, filed a lawsuit on March 14th, asking the top court of Turkey (Constitutional Court) to close AK Party. He claimed "the party has become the focal point of anti-secular activities."
In his indictment, the chief prosecutor demanded 71 people, including President Abdullah Gul (a former foreign minister) and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to be banned from politics for five years.
On March 31st, the Constitutional Court convened to make a preliminary assessment of the indictment and the judges accepted to open a debate on it unanimously while they voted 7-4 on the part of the indictment related to President Gul.
AK Party submitted its preliminary written defense to the court on April 30th, and the chief prosecutor submitted his opinion on the merits of the case on May 30th.
Now, as the party submitted its defense on the merits of the case, Yalcinkaya will do a verbal statement and AK Party will answer to this.
Later the rapporteur assigned by the court will prepare his/her report on the merits of the case.
In this phase, the chief prosecutor can submit further evidence and AK Party can submit additional material to the rapporteur. Then the report will be distributed to court members for consideration.
At a later stage Constitutional Court chief justice Hasim Kilic will set a date and the court will start hearing the case on its merits.
If AK Party requests extra time for its defence, the court will also assess this request.
According to the Constitution, at least 7 of the 11 members of the court have to vote for closure in order to shut down a political party.
In line with Article 69 of the Constitution, the court may instead decide to reduce or cut the financial aid given to this political party from the Treasury.
Last Mod: 16 Haziran 2008, 17:17