Impunity in the Case of Ethem Sarısülük Taken to Constitutional Court

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  • May 14, 2019
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Kazım Bayraktar, the lawyer of the family of Ethem Sarısülük, who was shot to death by police officer Ahmet Şahbaz during Gezi Park protests, made an individual application to the Constitutional Court on May 14, 2019.

“We lodge an application so that the impunity imposed upon the judiciary by the political power in the police murders would be tested once more in the Constitutional Court,” stated the lawyer Bayraktar.

In the case heard by Aksaray Heavy Penal Court, the prison sentence given to police officer Şahbaz was transformed to 10 thousand 100 Turkish Lira (TRY) fine, which was then reversed by the Supreme Court of Appeals. When the case was re-heard, the Court ruled that the pecuniary fine of Şahbaz shall be “increased” to 15 thousand 200 TRY.

The violation of ‘right to fair trial’

A 25-page letter of application with 19-page attachments has been delivered to the Constitutional Court.

“We wish that the decision to be made as the result of our application would contribute to the humanitarian struggle waged with the aim of ceasing the policy of impunity in the police murders in Turkey,” denoted in the letter.

250 thousand Turkish Lira has also been demanded for the damages of mental anguish. In the letter in which Ethem Sarısülük’s mother Sayfı Sarıkülük and his four siblings were applicants, it has been stated that the family’s right to free trial guaranteed by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights is violated.

‘Government’s interference maintained until trial ended’

The lawyer Kazım Bayraktar summarized the main points in the application and the background of the case to bianet:

“The then Prime Minister Erdoğan has made a statement saying ‘We will not let you sacrifice our police’ during the process of investigation. The murderer had not been arrested. The interference of the political power to the case has been maintained until the end of the trial.

“The police officer has been arrested as a result of our collective struggle, and convicted to the 7 years 9 months 10 days of prison sentence. After the decision, Erdoğan threatened the judges who made the decision by blaming them as the “parallel judiciary.”

‘Demotion for presiding judge, arrest for prosecutor”

“The decision has been reversed by the Supreme Court of Appeals on the ground of deficient investigation, and the case was taken from the Court that Erdoğan did not favor and given to Aksaray Heavy Penal Court.

“However, the Court Board could not escape the wrath of the political power. The presiding judge has been appointed as the judge of penal court of first instance with demotion. The prosecuting officer has been arrested. The board has been dissolved.

“A murder whose existence is visible without a discussion is ipso facto and overtly ignored in the process of investigation and trial despite the reports of the independent and objective official referees.” (AS/TY)