Courts to decide fate of jailed deputies next week

July 13, 2012, Friday/ 18:00:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Courts are expected to hand down their decisions next week on whether or not to release deputies currently in jail in connection with ongoing coup or terrorism cases in line with a new law included in the third judicial reform package.

Turkey currently has nine deputies in jail -- two from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and one from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who face coup charges and six from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) who face charges of membership in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization encompassing the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). All nine deputies were elected to Parliament during last year’s general elections, and their nominations to run for Parliament led to widespread controversy as they were already in jail.

The deputies recently appealed to the relevant courts to benefit from the new law included in the third judicial reform package, demanding their release from jail. They claim that the newly approved reform package allows them to be released from jail pending trial.

The law obliges prosecutors to obtain permission from the relevant authorities in order to investigate officers of a number of top state institutions, including the General Staff, the National Security Council (MGK), the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the police force.

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