12-year-old Uğur Kaymaz and his father Ahmet Kaymaz were shot dead by policemen in front or their home in Kızıltepe in the south-eastern province of Mardin on 21 November 2004. The Turkish government now submitted the defence for the related case that is pending at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The government claimed, "The policemen had no other option because their own lives were in danger".
Uğur Kaymaz was hit by 13 bullets and his father by eight bullets. As reported by the Radikal daily, the killing of both father and son was evaluated in the defence as the "use of proportional force".
A trial was launched against four police officers who were all acquitted since the court deemed the shooting as "legitimate defence of the policemen".
The appeal against the decision was handled by the Court of Appeals 1st Criminal Chamber that unanimously upheld the verdict.
When domestic remedies were exhausted, the Kaymaz family applied to the ECHR. The ECHR 2nd Chamber accepted the application and requested a defence from the Turkish government questioning "whether the killing of Uğur and his father was the last resort and whether proportional force had been used".
The defence submitted by the Turkish government put forward that the shooting was started by Ahmet Kaymaz and his son. It was stated that "Ahmet Kaymaz shot five times and Uğur Kaymaz eight times".
It was claimed in the defence that the police went to the home of Ahmet Kaymaz upon a notice received over the phone. The force applied by the police was supposedly "evaluated within the terroristic activities of Kaymaz".
The defence also pointed to the fact that the police had a search warrant. It was said that while taking the necessary precautions, two armed persons came with a lorry to the front of Kaymaz's home. These two people were allegedly carrying two Kalashnikov weapons, hand grenades and four ammunition clips.
The police apparently requested them to surrender whereupon Ahmet and Uğur Kaymaz started shooting. As descscribed in the defence, the policemen were forced to act quickly and it was put forward that under these circumstances "the police officers had no other option since their lives were in danger".
In order to prove that the father and son were using weapons the defence referred to gunsmoke stains on their hands.
It was argued that the father and son shot 13 bullets at the police officers. According to the defence, the investigation revealed that the weapon of Uğur Kaymaz was used eight times and that of Ahmet Kaymaz five times.
"Too small to carry a Kalashnikov"
The joint attorneys of the Kaymaz family pointed out that the evidence quoted by the lawyers in the defence raised a number of doubts. They revealed contradictions between the evidence put forward in the defence and the results of the report issued by the Forensic Medicine Institute.
* Due to the autopsy of 12-year-old Uğur Kaymaz it was determined that he was killed as the result of 13 shots shot form a short distance.
* The defence claimed that Uğur Kaymaz was older than 12 years of age because of his moustache and underarm hair. This claim was disproved by the forensic medicine report.
* The Forensic Medicine Institute stated in their report that the body height of Uğur Kaymaz who followed his father outside in his slippers was too short to carry a Kalashnikov.
* The report of the Forensic Medicine Institute emphasized that even if an armed conflict had occurred, a person hit into his back by nine consecutively shot bullets would not be able to carry on.
* The Forensic Medicine report furthermore underlined that the gunsmoke stains on their hands could not be taken as a definite proof that they used weapons. (AS)