Pro-Kurdish DTP deputies' trial continues
Two deputies from the Democratic Society Party (DTP) who are awaiting trial on charges of "promoting a terrorist organization" and "assisting and abetting a terrorist organization" might be brought before the court despite their immunity as deputies.
DTP deputies Aysel Tuğluk and Ayla Akat Ata, who are also lawyers who previously represented Abdullah Öcalan -- the head of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who is jailed in an island-prison in İstanbul -- might face trial if Parliament decides to remove their immunity.
The cases of a number of DTP deputies facing similar charges were combined into a single file which is being dealt with by the İstanbul 9th High Criminal Court. There are 13 suspects in the case. The court had a hearing yesterday; however, none of the suspects, including Tuğluk and Ata Birand, showed up in court. Özcan Kılıç, a lawyer representing Tuğluk, was present at the hearing. The court accepted the public prosecutor's demand to continue with Tuğluk and Ata's trial, stipulating that the Parliament's Presidency be informed of its decision.
Kılıç said his clients faced up to twelve-and-a-half years on charges of promoting, assisting and abetting a terrorist organization. Kılıç said most of the accusations were made on the basis of statements made by Tuğluk and Ata when they defended Abdullah Öcalan in court.
The decision of the court also creates a risk for Sebahat Tuncel, another DTP deputy facing trial, being brought before the court, as the decision of the court may be taken as an precedent. A court hearing in October will decide whether the trial of Tuncel, who is accused of membership in a terrorist organization, should continue despite her election to Parliament.
Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2007, 15:37