Turkey's case against HDP hits legal obstacle

Turkey's attempt to ban the country's main pro-Kurdish party hit a legal snag Tuesday, March 30, when a Constitutional Court rapporteur ruled that the prosecutor's indictment was flawed, NTV television reported.

The Constitutional Court is due to decide on Wednesday whether it will take up the prosecutor's case against the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Turkey's top public prosecutor this month accused the HDP -- the third-largest party in parliament -- of being a political front for banned Kurdish fighters waging a decades-long insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

But NTV television said the Constitutional Court's special rapporteur on the case had concluded that the prosecutor's case had "deficiencies" relating to the identities and roles of some of the defendants.

The court now has the option to either send back the indictment for further work or to accept it and allow the prosecutor to amend his file during the trial, NTV said.

The deficiencies appeared to be relatively minor and do not seem to substantially hurt the prosecutor's case.

Turkish media had earlier reported that two of the 687 HDP members who prosecutors wanted to ban from politics were dead.

Turkey's attempt to dissolve the HDP has drawn condemnation from Western allies and protests from human rights groups.

The European Union and Washington support Ankara's designation of the Kurdish fighters as terrorists.

But they also accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using the fight against the insurgents as an excuse to suppress ethnic Kurds' legitimate rights.

Reporter's code: 50101

News Code 697


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