Selek’s Case Reopens for Life Sentence – BIANET 23.11.2012 – The Turkish sociologist suspected in the Egyptian Bazaar bombing was ordered to stand trial for life sentence in December 14, after the court commuted the not-guilty verdict.

Turkish Criminal Judge Mehmet Hamzaçebi ruled on retrial of Pınar Selek and Abdülmecit Öztürk who were found not-guilty–a verdict that was overturned by an appeals court three times previously–for their role in the Egyptian Bazaar bombing. “The court overturned its own verdict. This is exceptional in the history of law. The court appealed its own verdict,” Yasemin Öz, advocate of Pınar Selek, told bianet. The ruling was announced by an auxiliary judge at a hearing in an Istanbul criminal court where none of the five defendants pending trial were present.

Defendant advocate Bayram Belen protested the ruling, saying that the court made a procedural error. “The criminal court has the option to either amend according to the appeals court’s rule or resist its previous decision.” Saying that the ruling confirmed appeals court’s decision, the criminal court rejected Belen’s objection and asked the attorney Nuri Ahmet Saraç to pronounce his claims. “This is a new situation. I am shocked,” the attorney said and reiterated his previous claims, charging Selek and Özktürk for life sentence.Defendants’ advocates asked the auxiliary judge for an extension as, they said, the ruling was “unexpected”. The trial was rescheduled to December 13, 2012, at 2 pm. (MS/HK)