Turkey's Constitutional Court on Thursday accepted a request by the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for additional time to defend itself in the ongoing closure case.
After the request was filed to close the HDP and criminal case procedures commenced, a two-month period for preliminary defense began once the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court unanimously accepted the indictment and notified the defense of the amendments.
The party was supposed to submit its preliminary defense within the legal time limit, but HDP's law commission applied to the Constitutional Court before the deadline to request an additional four months.
The General Assembly of the Constitutional Court discussed the HDP's request for more time.
It has been reported that the Supreme Court accepted the HDP's request for additional time, as in previous closure cases.
It was learned that the party was given 60 days to present its preliminary defense and 30 days to prepare the preliminary defenses of those against whom political bans have been requested.
Turkey's chief prosecutor refiled an indictment seeking the dissolution of the HDP. In response, the Constitutional Court assigned a rapporteur to the case.
The indictment calls the HDP an undemocratic party that colludes with the PKK terrorist group and seeks to destroy the unity of the state.
The indictment was previously returned by the Constitutional Court as it was missing details.
Bekir Şahin, the chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, refiled the 850-page indictment with the Constitutional Court, before it was sent to the Supreme Court – also called the Court of Cassation. The indictment asks that nearly 500 party members be issued political bans and the party's bank account be suspended.
In Turkey, the closure of political parties is decided by the Constitutional Court, based on an indictment filed by the Supreme Court Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
Instead of permanent dissolution, the 15-member Constitutional Court may instead decide to partially or completely cut off state aid to the party, depending on the severity of the acts in question.
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