Top court postpones HDP’s verbal defense to April 11

Türkiye's high court has given additional time for the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) to prepare its verbal defense over the ongoing closure case.

The HDP will make its verbal defense on April 11, instead of March 14, the Constitutional Court said in a brief statement on March 9. The HDP demanded the postponement of the hearing due to the devastating earthquakes and tight election timetable.

The party is risking being permanently closed with its more than 500 officials being banned from politics in line with an indictment by Chief Prosecutor Bekir Yıldız, who has accused the HDP of having links with the terror organization PKK.

Following the verbal defense of the HDP, the high court will appoint a rapporteur to write an assessment report on the ongoing case.

Türkiye will likely go to presidential and parliamentary polls on May 14. It is not sure when the high court will conclude the case and vote on whether to ban or not to ban the HDP. A two-thirds majority of 15 judges at the Constitutional Court is required for a permanent prohibition of a political party.

Upon demand by the chief prosecutor earlier this year, the high court suspended the HDP's benefit from the annual treasury aid to the political parties.

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