Turkish PM Erdogan mulls 'retrials' in coup plot cases

Bar's offer for retrials could help pave the way for the undoing of past judgments on army personnel tried for past coup d'etats and attempts.

Turkish PM Erdogan mulls 'retrials' in coup plot cases

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish government is considering allowing retrials in cases handled by special-authority courts, the President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations Metin Feyzioglu told journalists Saturday following his meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Bar's offer, which Feyzioglu said Erdogan welcomes, could help pave the way for the undoing of past judgments on army personnel tried for past coup d'etats and attempts.

The plan to establish legal grounds for retrials, on which the Bar and Ministry of Justice are planning to collaborate, is aimed at restoring confidence in the judiciary and end a “law tragedy” that resulted from special-authority courts still hearing cases despite being repealed through a bill approved by the Turkish Parliament in 2012, Feyzioglu said.

“We need to end this double-headed structure in the judiciary, this practice that hampers the exercise of rights to fair trial and defense and turns legal judgment into preconceived opinion,” he said.

Turkish armed forces earlier this week filed a criminal complaint regarding cases on its staff, urging for retrials.

Medicine that kills

The parliamentary bill in question, approved on July 5, 2012, outlaws special-authority courts, which were set up mostly to handle cases of coups d’etat that have dogged Turkish political history for decades.

However, the courts continued to operate after the resolution due to a string attached to the bill: That they finish hearing cases at hand.

“It’s as if you have found a drug harmful, prohibit its manufacture, but allow pharmacies to continue selling it till they are out of stock,” Feyzioglu said.

“You basically allow it to continue killing people.”

The Bar’s offer comprises two steps for ending the allegedly illegal judicial impact of the said courts, one to return unfinished cases to relevant courts, and the other to offer retrials in cases where a judgment has been already been established by a special-authority court.

Feyzioglu said he expected concrete steps to be taken after Erdogan’s return from his visit to Japan, which is due to begin on Sunday.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ocak 2014, 09:48
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