Local appeals court rules for re-trial of CHP's Berberoğlu in espionage case

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 09.10.2017 15:42
Updated 09.10.2017 17:17
Enis Berberoğlu, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), arrives at the Çağlayan Courthouse, to attend a trial in Istanbul, Turkey, March 1, 2017. (Reuters Photo)
Enis Berberoğlu, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), arrives at the Çağlayan Courthouse, to attend a trial in Istanbul, Turkey, March 1, 2017. (Reuters Photo)

A local appeals court in Istanbul rejected Monday the sentence for main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Enis Berberoğlu in espionage case and ruled for his re-trial under arrest.

On June 14, Istanbul's 14th Heavy Penal Court ruled to sentence Berberoğlu to 25 years in jail for releasing secret documents with the purpose of political or military espionage in the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks case.

Commenting on the appeals court's decision, CHP Deputy Chairman and Party Spokesperson Bülent Tezcan said that the CHP said from the very beginning that the sentence and arrest of Berberoğlu is against the law. "The ruling of the appeals court has proven us right. It is a decision as if it is a lesson to the local court. However, the fact that it did not rule for his release is a great deficiency," Tezcan said, and stated that they expect an immediate ruling for Berberoğlu's release.

Following Berberoğlu's sentence, CHP leader launched a 400-kilometer "Justice" march between capital Ankara and Istanbul to protest the court ruling.

Berberoğlu was accused of supplying confidential information regarding the country's intelligence service to two journalists, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, in the controversial "MİT trucks" case.

The prosecutor had previously asked for a life sentence for Berberoğlu on charges of helping the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in the espionage case.

Berberoğlu was arrested in the courthouse after the hearing.

The court also ruled that Berberoğlu's files would be separated from those of former Cumhuriyet newspaper Editor-in-Chief Dündar and its Ankara representative Gül, who have both been charged with willfully aiding a terrorist group without being a member.

In January 2014, trucks belonging to MİT carrying aid to northern Syria, where Turkmens had been exposed to heavy airstrikes and attacks from the Bashar Assad regime, were intercepted by security forces on orders of former Adana Public Prosecutor Özcan Şişman and Brig. Gen. Hamza Celepoğlu.

The supplies in the trucks were seized and MİT agents were handcuffed before they were detained. The case stunned the nation, as it was the first time that the military explicitly intervened with the intelligence agency. The operation was conducted hurriedly and the governor of the province was informed about the incident in its latest phase.

It was later revealed that the raid was a plot by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) to embarrass and discredit the government via its followers who had infiltrated the military and judiciary.

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