The Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of a complaint filed by Turkey's former chief of staff, retired Gen. İlker Basbug, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last year in the Ergenekon coup trial, on the grounds that his legal rights were violated Hurriyet Daily News.
Basbug's claim that he was unlawfully deprived of freedom was rejected by a local court without being "effectively examined and the detailed reasoning regarding his conviction was not issued," the Constitutional Court said, adding that, for that reason, his conviction could not be the subject of any case at the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The Constitutional Court argued that Basbug had been unable to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals as the local court handling his case failed "to effectively examine his case and issue the detailed ruling on his sentence." The ruling was adopted unanimously by the panel of judges.
The ruling could pave the way for Basbug's release. Similar Constitutional Court rulings have allowed the release of jailed lawmakers from Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and more recently, of an Ergenekon convict receiving cancer treatment.
"There should be now a ruling on Basbug's release," his lawyer, İlker Sezer, told daily Hürriyet in his first comments on the Constitutional Court's decision.
The Constitutional Court has also sent a copy of its decision to the local court that reviewed the application for Basbug's release.
Basbug was given a life sentence in a landmark verdict in the Ergenekon coup plot case on Aug. 5, 2013. The court did not reveal its reasoning and decided to keep Basbug under detention as a precaution until the reasoning is released.
Basbug had also filed a demand for his release as part of an initiative for the retrial of coup case suspects, which has also been gathering support from the government, although the application has twice been rejected.
He previously argued that a potentially favorable ruling from the Constitutional Court would set a precedent for others.
Some 275 suspects were given sentences in August 2013, receiving hundreds of years of imprisonment in total, with many high-ranking army members, journalists and academics being given aggravated life sentences.