Turkish Court Denies Release to Newly Elected, Jailed General

Posted June 24th, 2011 at 6:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkey's Anatolia news agency says a Turkish court has ruled against releasing from jail a retired general who was elected to parliament earlier this month.

The general, Engin Alan, has been accused of participating in a coup plot.

The semi-official news agency reported a judge Friday rejected a petition from Alan's lawyer asking for his release.

Friday's decision follows separate rulings on Thursday denying releases to a journalist and an academic who also won parliamentary seats in the June 12 elections. The two, from the main opposition Republican People's Party, have also been accused of participating in a plot to overthrow the government.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party was re-elected for an unprecedented third time, securing around 50 percent of the ballots cast. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan fell well short of his goal of a two-thirds parliamentary majority, needed to rewrite the constitution.

And tensions are rising ahead in the parliament, with more than 30 Kurdish politicians threatening to boycott the new session next week. They are protesting a ruling that stripped one of their colleagues, Hatip Dicle, of his seat because of his recent conviction for spreading terrorist propoganda.