Şahin Öner's Case to Wait for 'Ideal Weather Conditions'

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In the case of 19-year old Şahin Öner, who was hit by an armored vehicle and lost his life in Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır on February 10, 2013, the court has decided to wait for the examination of the scene of the incident.

Today's (March 14) hearing lasted around 10 minutes as the last hearing. Police officer S.K., the sole defendant of the case who is being tried without arrest, was not present at the hearing.

Court to ask Observatory about weather conditions

The Diyarbakır 1st Heavy Penal Court ruled on November 29, 2018, that an examination shall be conducted at the scene of the incident on February 8, with the attendance of all the witnesses, the defendant and the delegation of expert witnesses. But the examination was not conducted on the specified date.

The court ruled today that the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute shall be issued a memorandum about when will the weather conditions be similar to the date of the incident.

A new date for the examination on the scene of the incident will be determined according to the Observatory's reply.

The next hearing will be held on May 14.

Why did the trial start five years later?

First hearing of the trial was held on June 29, 2017 before Diyarbakır 7th Criminal Court of First Instance. The only suspect, police officer S.K. did not attend the hearing.

Approving the Öner's family's lawyers demand the court ruled that it was a "willful murder" rather then "reckless murder" and sent the file to the assize court.

The Forensic Medicine Institute issued a report on November 12, 2014 and confirmed that the incident could not be considered simple traffic accident. Yet the Diyarbakır 1st Assize Court ruling non-jurisdiction on the case later, decided that the incident was an accident and sent the case to Antep Regional Court of Justice for the conflict of jurisdiction between the courts to be solved.

Speaking to bianet, Öner's family's lawyer Abdullah Zeytun said, "the court ruled non-jurisdiction based on abstract evidence aimed at vindicating the defendant", and added "the [court] committee rendering this verdict while there is this much evidence must be written down in history".

Antep Regional Court of Justice examining the case affirmed the first trial court's decision that Öner's death was "not an accident but a willful murder" and referred the case to Diyarbakır 1st Assize Court ruling the verdict of non-jurisdiction be reversed.

Diyarbakır 1st Assize Court decided that the first hearing be held on February 15, 2018 and a notification be sent to Diyarbakır Security Directorate to arrange that the suspect appear before court on the first hearing.

What happened?

Police intervened in the protest staged in Şehitlik neighborhood in Diyarbakır's district of Yenişehir on February 10, 2013. 19-year-old high school student Şahin Öner lost his life.

Diyarbakır Governorship said, "he lost his life when one attempted to take the explosive from his hand". However, according to the preliminary autopsy report, Öner "died resulting from being crushed in an accident".

Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch Vice Chair Lawyer Serdar Çelebi told bianet they examined Öner's autopsy report and no trace of explosive could be found in the report to the contrary of governorship's allegation.

Two eyewitnesses also testified that Öner died in an armored vehicle crushing him.

Besides, the İHD Diyarbakır Branch stated that despite fatal injuries, Öner was taken to a garden of a police station rather than a hospital, and then was taken to a hospital after being kept there for half an hour.

However, Office of the Chief Prosecutor Authorized Through Anti-Terror Law Article 10 rendered verdict of non-jurisdiction for the police driver of the vehicle on offense of "reckless homicide" and sent it to the prosecutor's office. Following the investigation of four years, the case opened through this offense.

First hearing of the trial was held on June 29, 2017. Approving the Öner's family's lawyers demand, Diyarbakır 7th Criminal Court of First Instance ruled that it was a "willful murder" and sent the filed to the heavy penal court.

(AS/VK)

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