Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya filed a lawsuit on March 14th asking the Constitutional Court to close Turkey's ruling Justice & Development (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 FM) and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to be banned from politics for five years .
Later Constitutional Court's rapporteur has written his preliminary assessment on the indictment of the lawsuit on March 28th and the report was handed out to member judges.
On March 31st, the Constitutional Court judges convened to make a preliminary assessment of the indictment.
Osman Paksut, deputy chairman of the Turkish Constitutional Court, announced the same day that the court accepted the indictment unanimously and the part concerning President Gul with a majority of votes (7-4) .
The case will proceed as follows:
AK Party will make a preliminary defence, and this will be sent to the Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor's Office.
After the Chief Prosecutor states his views on the merits of the case, AK Party will make a verbal defense in a month's time.
This will be followed by verbal statements of the Chief Prosecutor. Later the rapporteur assigned by the Constitutional 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 defence material to the rapporteur. Then rapporteur's report will be distributed to court members.
Later Constitutional Court Chief Judge Hasim Kilic will set a date and the court will start seeing the case on its merits.
If AK Party demands extra time for its defence, the court will also assess these demands.
According to the Constitution, at least 7 of the 11 members of the court have to vote for closure in order for the court 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: 03 Nisan 2008, 08:31