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Judges condemn HSYK decision to disbar colleagues.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Judges spoke out against the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) on -- a website used by members of the judiciary to exchange views on their profession -- over the recent disbarment of Judges Metin Euzcelik and Mustafa BaE-er, who were jailed last year for issuing a ruling criticized by the government.

The HSYK expelled former ystanbul 29th Court of First Instance Judge Euzcelik and former ystanbul 32nd Court of First Instance Judge BaE-er from the legal profession in a controversial move on Jan. 21, the day when the first hearing of their trial was held at the 16th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, nine months after they were sent to prison.

The HSYK announced while the hearing was being held that it had decided to disbar Judges BaE-er and Euzcelik based on Article 69 of the Law on Judges and Prosecutors, which suggests that even in the case of an action that necessitates disciplinary punishment but does not constitute a crime, a punishment of disbarment could be given if the action is seen as damaging the profession's dignity and prestige.

Nuh HE-seyin KE[micro]se, a member of the Judges Union, was among the judges who reacted against the disbarment of their colleagues on the website, emphasizing that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is forcing judges to act in line with its objectives.

"If things continue like this, we will all be ground in this mill [dismissed from the profession under AK Party rule]. If it's proven that they are members of an [terrorist] organization, don't keep the prosecutors or judges in the profession even for a day. However, when we examine the order for their disbarment, we clearly see that it was given over a suspicion [about them] and the judges are forced to act according to the arguments of the political power. This is no way to act in a state of law," KE[micro]se said.

Speaking to the Haberdar news portal during a recess in the hearing on Jan. 21, the judges said they still believe their ruling was legally correct. They described the trial as politically motivated and said they would not hesitate to issue the same ruling again.

The judges were detained on April 30 of last year and sent to prison in May after ruling to release Samanyolu Broadcasting Group CEO Hidayet Karaca and 63 police officers who had been held in pre-trial detention for months and have been charged with membership in an armed organization.

The police officers who BaE-er and Euzcelik ruled to release were accused of conducting two far-reaching graft probes against the government and even family members of then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an in December 2013, while Karaca was arrested as part of a major crackdown on the media on Dec. 14, 2014, just three days before the first anniversary of the day the corruption investigation came to light.

After apparent government intervention, public prosecutors refused to implement the court order. The ystanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office claimed the order of the ystanbul 32nd Court of First Instance to release the suspects was void because the court was not authorized to rule on the issue.

Immediately after their decision to release the defendants, the HSYK ruled to have BaE-er and Euzcelik suspended in late April. The ruling came shortly after Erdoy-an criticized the institution, saying the HSYK was actually late in convening to intervene in the issue. The HSYK's move was strongly criticized by opposition parties, who described it as government intervention in the judiciary.

[Cihan/Today's Zaman] CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Jan 25, 2016
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