Duvar English

A local court has rejected former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Enis Berberoğlu’s demand for a retrial once again, days after another court’s similar move to ignore a top court ruling in his case.

Berberoğlu’s lawyer Yiğit Acar took the case to Istanbul 15th Heavy Penal Court on Oct. 15, days after the 14th one ignored the Constitutional Court ruling that paved the way for his client’s retrial. The Istanbul 15th Heavy Penal Court also rejected Berberoğlu’s demand.

The Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court has ignored the Sept. 17 ruling of the Constitutional Court, which said that the politician’s right to compete in elections and to conduct politics as well as his right to personal liberty and security had been violated.

The top court said that the ruling will be sent to the Court of Cassation so that a retrial takes place for the outcomes of the violations to be eliminated.

Berberoğlu was sentenced to five years and 10 months in jail in the case involving a 2014 story on National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks filled with weapons bound for Syria. He was accused of providing footage of the trucks to journalist Can Dündar and was sent to prison in 2017.

He was re-elected to the parliament in the June 24, 2018 elections but was not released from jail until Sept. 20, 2018, when the Court of Cassation postponed the execution of the sentence due to his re-election as a lawmaker.

On June 4, Turkish parliament stripped Berberoğlu of his status as a deputy, along with two other lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). After this move, Berberoğlu was arrested again to serve the remaining of his sentence. But on the same day, Berberoğlu was transferred from open prison to house arrest as part of measures against the coronavirus.

During the trial process, Berberoğlu applied to the Constitutional Court saying that it is against the law for the trial process to continue against a lawmaker who has automatically gained immunity from prosecution with re-election. He said that his continued imprisonment despite his re-election as a member of parliament on June 24, 2018 had violated his rights.