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152 Turkish deputies face charges after immunity lifted

152 Turkish deputies face charges after immunity lifted
Cases could be launched after constitutional change published in Official Gazette

By Aylin Sirikli Dal

ANKARA (AA) - A total of 152 Turkish lawmakers could be tried in relation to nearly 800 separate criminal charges, according to information released Wednesday after the president agreed to lift parliamentary immunity.

Previously, 138 deputies in the 550-seat Grand National Assembly had been thought to be liable for prosecution after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ratified constitutional amendments to allow lawmakers with criminal cases lodged against them to be tried.

The latest details from parliament and the Justice Ministry show 14 other lawmakers could face prosecution.

Of the four parliamentary parties, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has 57 deputies facing charges while the 55 from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) could be prosecuted.

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has 29 lawmakers on the list while the smallest party in parliament, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has 10. An independent deputy also faces charges.

The 799 charges faced by the parliamentarians fall into three broad groups of offences - insulting the president, supporting terrorism and corruption and other crimes.

The lawmakers cannot be prosecuted until 15 days after a notice of the constitutional changes is placed in the Official Gazette, which is expected to happen in the next few days.

HDP and CHP deputies face 511 and 211 charges respectively. AK Party deputies face 50 allegations while MHP members are charged with 23 offenses. Independent Aylin Nazliaka faces five claims, including an allegation made jointly against her and a CHP deputy.

Any lawmaker convicted of an offense will lose their seat. However, they would only be replaced if at least five percent of lawmakers lost their seats, in which case a fresh general election would be called, or if all the lawmakers for one province lost their places, which would result in an election in that province.

Neither would apply if a scheduled election was more than a year away and Turkey’s next parliamentary poll is due by November 2019.

* Anadolu Agency Correspondent Emin Avundukluoglu also contributed to this story.

source: News Feed
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