The case regarding the killing of Alaattin Karadağ, member of the illegal Communist Labour Party of Turkey (TKİP), was continued on Tuesday (9 November) before the Bakırköy (Istanbul) 9th High Criminal Court. Karadağ was allegedly killed by the police on 19 November 2009.
A witness stated not to remember how many policemen were actually present at the scene of the incident. Apparently, Karadağ's right hand was injured. The witness recalled, "The murdered shot with his 'left hand'".
The second hearing of the trial was attended by Karadağ's family and monitored by Şerafettin Halis, Dersim Deputy of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and representatives of the Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD), the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV).
The prime suspect, un-detained police officer Oğuzhan Vural, was also present. He is alleged to have fatally shot Karadağ in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul and is charged with "premeditated murder", "misconduct in office" and "undue acquisition of personal property".
Witness "cannot remember"
Ertuğrul Bal was heard as an eyewitness. He stated that he went out to the balcony when he heard gun shots. He supposedly saw Karadağ shooting with his 'left hand' at two policemen who were following him.
Bal was asked by Court President Ahmet Mevlüt Yıldırım about what time of the day this incident happened but the witness claimed that he "could not remember".
Court President Yıldırım reminded the witness that he had mentioned four police officers in a previous statement. Bal replied, "I do not remember. It might have been two or four".
Karadağ's family and the joint attorneys criticized the witness for calling the police officers "friends". Bal claimed, "I love my country, everybody is my friend".
Karadağ's brother Abdullah Karadağ referred to records of the TİHV indicating that 255 people were killed by the police within the past three years. He requested to detain suspect Vural.
Lack of radio records
The Karadağ family lawyers pointed to the lack of record in the radio records of the ambulance service for the time of the incident. They requested to complete the lacking transcript.
Thereupon, defence lawyer Yurakul claimed that the lack of record might stem from a clash in the radio transmission since "the police pressed the radio latch at the same time to make an announcement".
The request for joint plaintiff status made by TİHV, İHD and ÇHD was rejected because the organizations "did not suffer direct harm from the crime". Detendant Vural was transferred to Izmir and the request to exempt him from the hearings because he is under custody and because he is on duty in another town was dismissed.
The trial was postponed to 21 April.
The Istanbul Chief of Police, Hüseyin Çapkın, had announced after the incident that Karadağ's death was "unfortunately" caused because he had ignored the stop warning by police officer Oğuzhan Vural.
Halis: "Killing of revolutionists is legitimate in this country"
BDP MP Halis brought the Karadağ murder to parliament. In an interview with bianet after the hearing he said, "The state has not relinquished any of the privileges granted to the police until now. We are living in a country where the killing of revolutionists is legitimate. The announcement issued by the Istanbul Governorship after the incident implies that 'he was the member of an illegal organization so it was legitimate to kill him'".
Karadağ's brother Abdullah Karadağ told bianet, "Disorganization is the reason that trials on this sort of incidents remain unsolved. The reason is not the power of the police forces but the lack of power of advocators for life like us". (BT/VK)