ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
The European Court of Human Rights has recognized a claim by an opposition deputy for a fair trial regarding the lifting of his political immunity, setting the legal ground for related cases.
While Konya Deputy Atilla Kart was counselling as a lawyer in a case, he was accused of exceeding his limits for defense and two cases were opened against him at the Court for Serious Crimes. However, he could not be judged because he was a parliamentary deputy and so he applied to the parliamentary Immunity Joint Committee for lifting of his immunity. However, Justice and Development Party, or AKP, deputies on the joint committee prevented this and postponed his file to the end of the term, Kart told the Turkish Daily News.
When his demand was rejected, he brought the case before the European Court of Human Rights and claimed he was denied his right to a fair trial. The European court ruled Tuesday that Turkey violated the sixth article of the European Human Rights Convention, saying in its written statement, �One's basic rights and freedom can't be prevented by a numerical majority.�
Following the ruling by the European court, the Immunity Joint Committee is entitled to hear Kart's file and lift his immunity. Otherwise, the court will be able to impose sanctions. However, since Kart did not make a claim, Turkey will not pay monetary compensation.