BERKİN ELVAN CASE: Court Rules for Examination at Scene of Incident 6 Years After Incident

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  • February 27, 2019
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The case of Berkin Elvan, who lost his life after being shot with a tear gas canister during Gezi Park protests in 2013, continued at the İstanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court today (February 27).

The court has ruled that an examination shall be conducted at the scene of incident in Okmeydanı, İstanbul, where Berkin Elvan lost his life.

While defendant police officer Fatih Dalgalı attended the hearing via Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS), the request for his arrest has been rejected by the court again.

Police officers “did not remember anything” again

In the hearing held today, police officers B.G. and H.P. were listened as witnesses. Like other officers who had previously deposed as part of the lawsuit, B.G. and H.P. also stated that “they did not remember anything.”

While B.G. said that he/she did not see defendant police officer Dalgalı while intervening in the protests, the other witness H.P. stated that he/she does not know Dalgalı. Watching the video footage of the incident during the hearing, B.G. could not identify the defendant police officer.

Attending the hearing via SEGBİS from Samsun, where he is currently on duty, witness H.P. stated, “We did not know that somebody was shot, I learnt it only one year later, when I was summoned to depose.”

In response to the testimonies of the witnesses, attorney Can Atalay referred to the statements of other witnesses who previously deposed and stated that “it was also indicated by the witnesses that the file of the case has been filled with irrelevant witness police officers and evidence has been spoiled.”

Attorney Çiğdem Akbulut also requested that an examination be conducted at the scene of incident and defendant police officer Dalgalı be arrested.

The court board has ruled that an examination shall be conducted at the scene of incident in company with an expert on April 10, 2019. However, the court has again rejected the request for the arrest of defendant police officer. The next hearing of the case will be held on May 8, 2019.

What happened?

On June 16, 2013, Berkin Elvan was hospitalized due to grave head injuries after the police intervention in the district of Okmeydanı in İstanbul. When he was admitted to the Okmeydanı Research Hospital, his heart had reportedly stopped already.

Suffering from a brain hemorrhage, Elvan went through at least five surgeries. On January 5, 2014, Elvan turned 15 in his comatose. He died on March 11, 269 days after being shot.

While the prosecutor investigating the incident was changed for six times, the investigation was completed on December 7, 2016. Prepared by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the indictment demanded that police officer F.D., who was referred to as the only defendant, be penalized on charge of “killing with eventual intent.”

The 11-page indictment sent to the İstanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court has been accepted. A verdict of non-prosecution has been given for 42 police officers, who previously made their depositions as part of the investigation into the death of Elvan.

Speaking to bianet, Oya Aslan, one of the attorneys for the Elvan family, stated that a lawsuit was filed only against a single police officer who was on the scene of incident and added that since the lawsuit was filed for “killing with eventual intent”, rather than for “wilful murder”, it has reduced the foreseen prison sentence to 20 years.