The indictment seeking the closure of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its 70-folder appendix were notified to the party on July 9 by Constitutional Court (AYM) which is imposed by the Erdogan regime as a politically arbitrary decision.
A group of lawyers and academics led by the HDP’s Law and Human Rights Commission will reportedly prepare a defense as to the indictment.
The first indictment to close the HDP was returned by the Constitutional Court to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation on the anniversary of the last local elections on March 31. The reason for returning the indictment was that “it did not have legal characteristics.”
With minor changes, the second indictment seeking the closure of the party was submitted to the top court on June 7 and having examined the indictment in the light of a report prepared by the rapporteur of the case, the Constitutional Court accepted the second indictment on June 21.
How will the process proceed?
When the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation sues a political party and demands its closure, the Constitutional Court follows the procedure of a “criminal case”. In the preliminary proceedings report, the method to be followed in the process will be determined.
The indictment will be sent to the HDP for the preliminary defense. The indictment will be notified after the preliminary proceedings report is signed. When this process begins, the party will be obligated to submit its preliminary defense within the time period specified by the top court. But the party can make an application to extend it. The Court will conclude this application.
After the HDP presents its preliminary defense, Court of Cassation’s Chief Public Prosecutor Bekir Şahin will be asked his opinion as to the accusations. This opinion will also be sent to the HDP. Then, at dates to be specified by the Constitutional Court, prosecutor Bekir Şahin will make a verbal statement and HDP officials will make a verbal defense.
Following this process, the rapporteur, who will collect information and documents about the case, will prepare a report on the merits. While this process is ongoing, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation and HDP can submit additional evidence or defense.
After the report is handed out to the Constitutional Court members, Court President Zühtü Arslan will set a date for the meeting and, on the specified day, the members will start examining the case as to the merits.
Majority of votes needed
A two-thirds majority, or votes of the 10 of 15 Constitutional Court members, are needed to close the party because of the reasons cited in article 69 of the Constitution or impose other sanctions on the party such as partially or completely depriving it of public aid.
The top court ruling will be submitted to the Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which filed the case, and to the related political party, namely the HDP, and will be published in the Official Gazette. Those who have been imposed a political ban will not be able to be founders, members, executives or supervisors of any other political party for five years.
Source: bianat.org and HDP Europe
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