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    Turkey's top prosecutor submits arguments to shut down the AKP

    Hurriyet English with wires
    30.05.2008 - 14:35 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey's top prosecutor submitted on Friday his written arguments on the merits of the closure case against the ruling AKP to the Constitutional Court, seeking to disband the ruling AKP for undermining secular principles enshrined in the Constitution. According to the legal process, the AKP will make a verbal defense within a month. The Chairman of the Constitutional Court said the written arguments were sent to the AKP and included no new demands for additional political bans. (UPDATED)

    Turkey's Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya has insisted on the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in his arguments, presented on Friday, Turkey's NTV reported.            

    Constitutional Court Chairman Hasim Kilic said the top prosecutor did not seek further political bans regarding the case.

    Kilic said the written arguments, submitted by Yalcinkaya, was sent to the AKP as well.

    He added the court would convene on June 2 or 3 to set a date to debate the case asking to annul the constitutional amendment that lifted the ban on the headscarf at universities, the Anatolian Agency reported.

    Yalcinkaya, filed a lawsuit against the 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.

    According to the legal process, the 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 the AKP can submit additional defense material to the rapporteur. Then rapporteur's report will be distributed to court members.

    Constitutional Court Chief Judge Hasim Kilic will set a date and the court will begin seeing the case on its merits. If the 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 in favor of 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.

    Photo: Firat Yurdakul


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