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CHP deputy Mustafa Balbay takes oath in Parliament.

ANKARA (CyHAN)- Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) yzmir deputy Mustafa Balbay took his oath of office in Parliament on Tuesday, two years after his election as a lawmaker and a day after his release from prison.

An ystanbul court decided to release main opposition deputy Balbay on Monday, shortly after prosecutors asked the court to release him from prison. The CHP deputy was convicted in the Ergenekon trial of plotting a coup against the government and sentenced to 34 years in prison in August. His release was based on a recent ruling of the Constitutional Court.

In initial remarks upon his release from an Ankara prison, Balbay said he expected to take his oath for the parliamentary seat he won in 2011 on Tuesday. He had not been able to do so because he had been imprisoned since 2009.

If the Court of Appeals rejects Balbay's request for his conviction to be overturned, he may have to return to prison even though as a parliamentarian he would enjoy immunity from prosecution.

Balbay, who ran for Parliament in 2011 under the banner of the CHP while in detention but before his conviction, applied to the Constitutional Court based on a 2010 referendum that allowed private citizens to do so for the review of their cases. His application stated that his right to be elected had been violated because he was not able to perform his parliamentary duties while in detention pending the conclusion of his trial. He also filed a complaint about his lengthy detention period. The court ruled last week that his right to be elected as per Article 19 of the Constitution had been violated. It also ordered the state to pay TL 5,000 in compensation to Balbay.

Balbay's lawyers then petitioned the ystanbul 13th High Criminal Court for his release. The court asked the prosecutors who tried the Ergenekon case for their assessment. The prosecutors, Mehmet Ali PekgE-zel, Nihat TaE-kyn and Murat DalkuE-, then also requested Balbay's release based on the decision of the Constitutional Court.

SHOT LIST

A Short Speech of Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Ecicek

Cemil Ecicek calls Mustafa Balbay to rostrum for oath

Balbay walks to the rostrum with applauds of MPs

Balbay takes oath

Balbay are being welcomed by his MP friends

DURATION: 01:50

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Dec 10, 2013
Words:400
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