Summary of proceedings for ministers confidential in Parliament

Photo: Summary of proceedings for ministers confidential in Parliament  / Turkey

A summary of proceedings on four ex-ministers facing corruption charges would be subject to confidentiality in Parliament, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has said, noting that the deputies cannot be examined until an investigation commission is established Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Parliament will meet for an extraordinary session March 19 following an initiative from the three primary opposition parties to discuss the summaries of proceedings regarding the four former ministers: Zafer Çaglayan, Muammer Guler, Erdogan Bayraktar and Egemen Bagış.

The confirmation of the session represents a landmark development since Dec. 17, 2013, when a massive corruption and graft probe engulfing the prime minister and some of his Cabinet members first went public.

Bozdag also said those who have leaked wiretapped conversations on "fake [Twitter] accounts" should instead present them to the prosecutors if they have documents in hand.

On the other hand, some experts, including lawyer Turgut Kazan, objected to the argument that the summary of proceedings could not be examined in Parliament. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK), the sons of ministers and Reza Zarrab, along with the ministers, should be tried at the Supreme Council, the name the Constitutional Court takes when it tries ministers and senior members of the judiciary, Kazan said.

"The summary of proceedings consists of official criminal complaints about ministers [showing] that they committed an illegal act. They cannot be hidden from the Parliament as they are not hidden from the prosecutor," said Kazan.

"A parliamentary investigation is not a way for the supervision of legislation, but a special way of conducting an investigation with a juridical quality. The summary of proceedings cannot be hidden from the deputies," Kazan said.

The summary is being sent to the Parliament because the chief prosecutor cannot probe the ministers, said Kazan.

"Whenever a summary of proceedings arrives, Parliament acts as the prosecutor's office. A decision of confidentiality by the court does not bind the Parliament, as it does not bind the prosecutor. Hiding the summary of proceedings means trying to prevent the way for a Supreme Council trial on corruption and bribery allegations," he said.

"In the corruption and bribery allegations of the prosecutor, we understand that there is a connection between some suspects and the sons of some ministers according to Article 8 of CMK. All suspects, along with the related ministers, should stand trial at the Supreme Court, according to Article 9 of the CMK," Kazan said.

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