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    Turkey's AKP defense sent to public prosecutor

    Hurriyet English with wires
    01.05.2008 - 16:25 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey's top court on Thursday sent the preliminary defense submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the Chief Public Prosecutor's office. The AKP filed its defense to the Constitutional Court two days ahead of the Friday deadline.

    The Turkish Constitutional Court sent on Thursday the preliminary defense of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party to Chief Public Prosecutor's office.

    The AKP submitted on Wednesday its preliminary defense in the closure case compiled in three files to the Constitutional Court.

    Turkey's top prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, filed a lawsuit against AKP, claiming the party became the "focal point of anti-secular activities," and demanded 71 officials, including Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, to be banned from politics for five years.

    After the Chief Prosecutor states his views on the merits of the case, AKP will make a verbal defense within a month. This will be followed by verbal statements of the Chief Prosecutor.

    Then the rapporteur assigned by the Constitutional Court will prepare his/her report on the merits of the case. In this phase, the Chief Prosecutor can submit further evidence and AKP can submit additional defense material to the rapporteur. Then rapporteur's report will be distributed to court members.

    The Constitutional Court Chief Judge Hasim Kilic will set a date and the court will start seeing the case on its merits. If AKP demands extra time for its defense, the court will also assess these demands.

    According to the Constitution, at least 7 of the 11 members of the court have to vote for closure in order for the court to shut down a political party. In line with Article 69 of the Constitution, the court may instead decide to reduce or cut the financial aid given to this political party from the Treasury.

    The details of the AKP's preliminary defense, which includes the responses the claims in the indictment, has not yet been made public.

    Photo: AA

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