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CHP's Erdem facing investigation over 'chemical weapon' claims on Russian TV.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation into Republican People's Party (CHP) ystanbul deputy Eren Erdem for "treason," following his claims on the Russia Today (RT) TV station that radical groups used Turkey as a transit route for the shipment of sarin gas.

Turkish media reported on Wednesday that the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office will send a summary of proceedings to the Ministry of Justice on Thursday. If the summary of proceedings is sent to Parliament, the process for stripping Erdem of his parliamentary immunity will begin. Erdem might be prosecuted over treason if Parliament votes in favor of the removal of his parliamentary immunity.

In a written statement on Tuesday, Erdem defended himself by saying that he has been subject to a smear campaign against him over statements he made during conferences in Parliament. He maintained that he based his statements regarding Turkish businessmen's procurement of sarin and chemical weapons for radical groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on an investigation conducted by a Turkish court in 2013.

According to Erdem, the Adana Chief Prosecutor's Office, in an investigation coded 2013/139, arrested five Turkish citizens while a Syrian was prosecuted for procuring ingredients for radical groups in Syria for the production of chemical gas. However, those who were arrested as part of the investigation were released a week later, Erdem added.

'Smear campaign' against Erdem

In the statement, Erdem went on to say that he has been receiving death threats from social media users on Twitter following his interview with the RT.

"The paramilitary organization Ottoman Hearths is sharing my address [on Twitter] and plans a raid [on my house]. I am being targeted with death threats because I am patriotically opposed to something that tramples on my country's prestige," Erdem said.

Cem KE-cE-k, a columnist at the pro-government Star daily, said on a program on Kanal 24 on Tuesday that Erdem's appearance on RT and his claims regarding sarin gas were "treason." KE-cE-k argued that Erdem's immunity should be removed by Parliament for him to "pay for his deeds."

[Cihan/Today's Zaman] CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Dec 16, 2015
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