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The 17th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals has rejected the application of Enis Berberoğlu, the jailed İstanbul MP of the main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP), who requested that the proceedings against him be abated on the ground that he was re-granted legislative immunity after June 24 elections in 2018.
The same request of Berberoğlu, who has been behind bars since June 14, 2017 and was re-elected as MP on June 24, 2018, was previously rejected by the 16th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals on July 20.
The 16th Penal Chamber also ruled that Berberoğlu’s request for release shall be evaluated during the substantial examination of his case file.
Upon the rejection of his attorneys, the case file was sent to the higher chamber, the 17th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
At the lawsuit filed at İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court regarding the “MİT Lorries” news report published on Cumhuriyet newspaper on June 14, 2017, Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charge of “disclosing confidential information of the state for purposes of political and military espionage.” Enis Berberoğlu was arrested on June 14, 2017.
The ruling of the court was reversed by the 2nd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice on October 9, 2017. In the ruling, it was stated, “in case it is agreed that the secret has been disclosed before, elements of the crime of ‘disclosing confidential information of the state for political and military espionage purposes’ cannot arise.”
The İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court ruled that the verdict of reversal issued by the Court of Appeals was against the legal procedure and law and returned the file.
On February 13, 2018, the Court of Appeals reevaluated the case file of Enis Berberoğlu and ruled that he shall be sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison, this time, not on charge of “espionage”, but on charge of “disclosing information of the state that has to remain confidential for the security of the state as well as internal and external benefits.” The court also ruled for the continuation of his arrest.
This verdict was then appealed by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice, which sent a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeals, requesting that Berberoğlu be convicted on “espionage” charges.
The 16th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals has been conducting the appellate review of the file. (EKN/SD)