Minister dismisses claims of forcing deputies to testify

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 19.06.2016 22:34

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, speaking to the media late Saturday, dismissed claims of forcing deputies to testify, saying that the process of prosecuting deputies will be conducted in accordance with Turkish Criminal Law and the Law of Criminal Procedure (CMK). The process of investigating the dossiers of deputies began after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed Law No. 6178 to lift certain deputies' parliamentary immunities after it passed Parliament with 376 votes on May 20, paving the way for a constitutional amendment. "We are all accountable to our people for our actions; however, when it is a matter of justice we must answer to equality. The Justice and Development Party [AK Party] deputies will testify when summoned as they will not seek alternative routes and we expect the same from the Republican People's Party [CHP], the Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] and the Peoples' Democratic Party [HDP] deputies," Bozdağ said.

The constitutional amendment concerns 152 deputies who have had dossiers filed against them, including 57 from the CHP, 55 from the HDP, 29 from the AK Party, 10 from the MHP and one against independent deputy, Aylin Nazlıaka. Currently, 800 dossiers have been filed, 511 of which affect members of the HDP, 211 of the CHP, 50 of the AK Party, 23 of the MHP and five against Nazlıaka. Commenting on the dossiers, Bozdağ said that preparations for 682 dossiers on 139 deputies are nearly finalized and that all dossiers will be finalized and sent to the relevant institutions over the following week. Explaining that testimony procedures will be conducted under the Law of Criminal Procedure (CMK), Bozdağ said: "It would be seriously wrong if deputies are aiming to get photos and make appearances by creating disputes of a fuss when summoned to give testimony. Everyone must be respectful to the judiciary and allow justice to be rightfully conducted."

He said there are enough laws for those who aid terrorist organizations, and told reporters: "The problem isn't a lack of laws, but rather implementing those laws." He further said public servants who openly show support for terrorist organizations like the PKK or take photos with PKK symbols will be dismissed. He also said there is an offense of libel against Erdoğan in the dossiers and that the file on libel has to be approved by the Justice Ministry in order for it be prosecuted.

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