The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, criticized the recent release of some notorious suspects under a new law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, limiting the duration a person can be kept in jail while awaiting a first instance or an appeals trial to 10 years.
Ten Hizbullah members convicted of the brutal torture and killing of 188 people and currently in the process of appeal have recently been released under this law. The release of the Hizbullah convicts, all of whom have been in jail for at least 10 years, caused anger and frustration among the general public. Some claimed that the new law would also make possible the release of some outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) suspects.
Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Bahçeli said judicial institutions and those who work for these institutions and the government are responsible for the current judicial backlog.
“As a political party, we will ask for an accounting from the government. However, those who administer justice need to review their roles and responsibilities and engage in some self-criticism,” he said, while calling on the Supreme Court of Appeals to conclude the cases of Hizbullah and PKK members as soon as possible.
He described the judicial backlog as “dark, painful and shameful.”
Bahçeli also called on Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin to resign in the wake of allegations that Hizbullah members were given the opportunity to have access to the Internet in jail.
“The justice minister should either resign or he be removed from his post because of his negligence in this situation,” said Bahçeli.