Journalists Sedat Şenoğlu and Bayram Namaz from the daily news bulletin Atılım have rejected an offer by Turkish government officials to reach a friendly settlement over their ongoing suit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR.) Şenoğlu and Namaz have remained behind bars since law enforcement officials arrested them on Sept. 2006 in connection with the investigation into the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP.)
The defendant lawyers have also requested their clients' immediate release in accordance with the amendments that came into force last week following the ratification of the Third Judicial Package by Parliament and President Abdullah Gül.
The suspects' right to a fair trial has been violated since their detention within the scope of the operation codenamed "Gaye," Executive Coordinator Şenoğlu and columnist Namaz also said, adding that they had been subjected to a prolonged period of imprisonment. The two journalists are next set to appear before the court on Sept. 6.
Defendant lawyer Gülizar Tuncer expressed their refusal to reach a friendly settlement during her reply to the ECHR's Second Section on April 27. Lawyer Tuncer requested a judgement on the merits from the ECHR in her reply, citing the lack of any changes in Turkey over judicial practices, prolonged periods of imprisonment despite the dozens of verdicts the ECHR passed against Turkey on this matter and amendments to existing regulations that have only served to further exacerbate these problems.
Lawyer requests suspects' release
Defendant lawyer Tuncer also presented a petition to the court to request her clients' release in accordance with the Third Judicial Package that came into force on July 5 and which includes amendments intended to speed up judicial processes and that mandate the presence of concrete reasons to arrest suspects.
Füsun Erdoğan, the former Chief Coordinator of Özgür Radio, is also standing trial along with Şenoğlu and Namaz in the suit that includes 26 suspects, 11 of them arrested pending trial. The suspects stand accused of staging the MLKP's Fourth Congress at a home in the district of Nazilli in the western province of Aydın.
The suspects, however, note that authorities had detained them in separate provinces and locations, claiming that officials had linked them to the MLKP based on a single computer output.
Suspects' imprisonment extends for three more months along with trial
The Istanbul 12th Court for Serious Crimes had rejected the defendants' request for their release during the previous hearing of the case on May 29 and consequently adjourned the trial for three months.
The court had already released Atılım's Chief Coordinator İbrahim Çiçek, Ali Hıdır Polat, Ziya Ulusoy and Uğur Kayacı. (EÖ/HK)
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