Turkish High Court Awaits Documents in Case on Banning Islamist Party
Turkey's constitutional court on Wednesday adjourned a hearing on whether to ban the pro-Islamic Virtue Party pending documents from the prosecution.
The court's deputy chairman, Hasim Kilic, said that session would resume as soon as the requested documents are handed over to the panel.
Among the documents the court requested were a report by government observers on a Virtue party convention in May and the transcript of video tapes of speeches by party members at the gathering, which the prosecution presented as additional evidence in the case, Kilic said.
The court began a final round of deliberation Tuesday on whether to ban the opposition Virtue Party for anti-secular activities.
In its opening debate, the judges strengthened their hand by abolishing a provision of a law on political parties, which outlined strict conditions for a ban.
Virtue is accused of exploiting religious beliefs, inciting protests against a ban on head scarves in universities, and orchestrating a failed bid by one of its MPs last year to take an oath in parliament wearing a head scarf.
Besides outlawing Virtue, the prosecution also is seeking to bar its leadership from politics for five years and remove all of its 103 MPs from office.
The outcome of the case is crucial for the government as it could lead to a broad by-election for the emptied seats in parliament or possibly a new general election -- ANKARA (AFP)
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