First Turkish lawmakers called before prosecutor

Two Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies first to face prosecution following lifting of immunity

First Turkish lawmakers called before prosecutor

World Bulletin / News Desk

Two opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers have been called to give testimony before a prosecutor - the first since deputies’ criminal immunity was lifted earlier this month - it was revealed Wednesday.

Ahmet Yildirim and Burcu Celik, who both represent the southeastern province of Mus, are accused of making terrorist propaganda, insulting a public official and contravening public order laws, a judicial source said.

Giving a statement to a prosecutor is the first stage of any potential prosecution.

The source, who was speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said the prosecutor’s office had issued the request on Tuesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency at the parliament in Ankara, Yildirim said he would refuse to give testimony at the Mus prosecutor’s office.

“We won’t give testimony and we won’t answer questions at the prosecutor’s office,” he said. “Yesterday they called us. We will go after our deputyship is over and our immunity has come to an end.”

On June 10, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said 117 criminal cases involving 57 lawmakers had been sent to prosecutors across the country after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan removing the immunity of 152 Grand National Assembly deputies three days earlier.

More than two-thirds are from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and HDP - 57 and 55 respectively - with 29 from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, 10 from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one independent deputy.

The charges the deputies face fall into three broad categories - insulting the president, supporting extremism and  other crimes such as corruption.

Last Mod: 22 Haziran 2016, 16:02
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