Istanbul Regional Court of Justice says case file falls within the jurisdiction of Supreme Court of Appeals as per Criminal Procedure Code
The 2nd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice has referred the appeal against the convictions rendered in the retrial of the Altans case to the Supreme Court of Appeals, citing a provision in Turkey’s Criminal Procedure Code (CMK).
The retrial of the case, ordered by the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, concluded on 4 November 2019. At the end of the retrial, the 26th High Criminal Court of Istanbul acquitted Mehmet Altan but convicted Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak of “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member,” sentencing Ahmet Altan to 10 years and 6 months in prison and Ilıcak to 8 years and 9 months and ruling to release both from pre-trial detention. However, a week after the court’s release order, Ahmet Altan was rearrested at the request of the prosecutor who objected to his release. The court had also convicted their co-defendants Fevzi Yazıcı, Yakup Şimşek and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül of “membership of a terrorist group,” sentencing all three to prison terms above 10 years and ordering the continuation of their detention.
The lawyers representing Fevzi Yazıcı, Ahmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, and the intervening parties — the Presidency and the Parliament — appealed the verdict rendered in the retrial. The case file was sent to the 2nd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice, an appellate court, on 31 December 2019 for review.
The appellate court, without reviewing the file, ruled to refer the case to the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, saying that all reviews concerning the trial court’s verdict following a retrial fell within the jurisdiction of the relevant chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals until the verdict became final.
The appellate court cited Article 307/3 of the Criminal Procedure Code as the grounds for its unanimous decision, dated 6 January 2020.
According to CMK Article 307/3, a verdict rendered by a trial court in the retrial of a case where the trial court rules to comply with the Supreme Court of Appeals’ ruling to overturn the previous verdict can only be appealed with the Supreme Court of Appeals.