Turkish justice minister slams judges board over statement on judicial police regulation

Photo: Turkish justice minister slams judges board over statement on judicial police regulation / Turkey

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has slammed the statement from the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) describing the new judicial police regulation obliging those carrying out investigations to inform superiors as "unconstitutional" Hurriyet Daily News reported

Bozdag said Dec. 27 the judicial board did not have authority to make such a statement, adding it was made public without his knowledge.

The controversial regulation "clearly breached the constitution," the HSYK said in its Dec. 26 statement, adding it also contradicts the principle of separation of powers.

"In a manner which contradicts the principle that no institution can use a prerogative not take its origin in the law, the Board has invented itself a task on a matter that is not stated in the law," Bozdag said in a written statement in his first day after taking office, succeeding Sadullah Ergin.

Bozdag also noted a lawsuit was filed in the Council of State against the regulation announced on Dec. 21. "For a board whose basic principle is to protect the independence of the judiciary, to make a statement which contains an absolute conviction that a regulation facing a nullity suit is 'unconstitutional' contradicts the principles of rule of law and independence of the judiciary," Bozdag said.

The regulation triggered anger from lawyers and increased concerns on government intervention within the judiciary.

On Dec. 26, the head prosecutor on a second graft investigation also denounced pressure on the judiciary after he was removed from the case.

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