Turkish prosecutors looking to charge opposition leader

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Turkish prosecutors have requested that Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu have his parliamentary immunity lifted in order to charge him with insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The 11-page summary of the case against Kılıçdaroğlu states that he could receive between one year and four months, and four years and eight months in jail for the offence.

The summary includes Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments about Erdoğan family members’ offshore accounts, about a prominent December 2013 corruption case, and those linking Erdoğan to the Gülen movement, which was allied to the ruling party for many years.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s words “exceeded the boundaries of criticism and expression of opinion”, the prosecutors said, and constituted a crime.

Parliament has to vote to lift the immunity from prosecution of its members.

One parliamentarian from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party has already lost his seat as the result of a prosecution for insulting Erdoğan, an event human rights lawyer Kerem Altıparmak called “probably a first in the history of world politics”.

“(This is) the first time that a parliamentarian loses his status for insulting a head of state. And besides, the statement they called an insult was stone-cold political criticism,” Altıparmak said.



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