Turkish General Staff Military Prosecutor’s Office has decided not to file a lawsuit due to statute of limitations, regarding the bombing of Şırnak’s Kuşkonar and Koçağılı villages on the 26th of March 1994 with F-16s belonging to Turkish Armed Forces and the investigation of 38 killed people.
Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Tahir Elçi told bianet the following:
“This ruling is a violation of legal and moral responsibility of the government on its citizens and individuals. Regarding the incident that resulted in the killing of 38 people (mostly women and children), no necessary and sufficient investigation took place, no identification of suspects were made, no sufficient procedure was carried out for the identified ones.”
“No procedure in 20 years”
The lawyer Elçi stating the reason for the nolle prosequi:
“Turkish General Staff Military Prosecutor’s Office referred to the 20 years limit for statute of limitations for “aggravated” life sentence charges according to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Paragraph 765 Article 102.”
“Prosecutor’s Office also claimed that there is no evidence linked to the deliberate bombing of the civilians with warplanes that belong to Turkish Air Force and stated that it is not possible to mention premeditated murder with such a reason.
Military Prosecutor’s Office pointed out that that no procedure is ever carried out to interrupt statute of limitation of 20 years as statute of limitation have been met on March 26.
“Lack of evidence in the file”
Military Prosecutor’s Office in addition expressed that the files they received were faulty:
“After 19 years and 1 month, in the frame of current information and documents in the file that was sent to Military Prosecutor’s Office and recently added information and documents by Military Prosecutor’s Office; pecuniary incident and probable individuals responsible were not included with full transparency, it is not possible to file a lawsuit with current evidences, and in fact from the possibility of probable crimes, the lawsuit is required to be put through a lapse-of-time-evalution.
Also against ECHR ruling
The lawyer Elçi stated that they will submit a motion. On the motion, a citation will occur to the ruling of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the incident.
ECHR convicted Turkey for “village bombing” with the ruling on the 12th of November 2013.
According to the ruling, Turkey is convicted to pay 38 applicants a total of 2 million 305 thousand Euros for non-pecuniary, and a total of 5 thousand 700 Euros for pecuniary damages.
Turkey is found guilty for violating “right of life” of Article 2 of European Declaration of Human Rights (EDHR). In addition to this Article, Turkey is also found guilty of “not being able to conduct active investigation”.
The Court moreover found Turkey guilty of delivering faulty documents by saying “we do not have them” from Article 38.
The lawyer Elçi, said that with this ruling of Prosecutor’s Office, EDHR is also violated:
“There is not only compensation in the ruling of ECHR, but also how victimization might be removed. In the ruling, it is said that the removal of victimization is possible with the identification of the suspects and having them stand trial. This nolle prosequi also means that ECHR ruling will not be applied, which is also a violation of the declaration.
“No statute of limitations for crimes against humanity”
Lawyer Tahir Elçi explained that the statute of limitation does not work for crimes against humanity in accordance with TCK’s Article 77 even if the incident occurred before 2005 and this has been accepted with the ruling of ECHR.
Last year, a request is sent to the related institutions with file taken from the archive by the Public Prosecutor of Diyarbakır and Turkish Air Force noted that at the time and place of the bombing, none of the planes ever flew.
However, Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sent the prosecutor detailed information.
In the document, bombardment is acknowledged by saying “In 1994, 10NM (18,55 kilometers) Northwest of Şırnak, two flights were carried out by Turkish Air Force”.
Diyarbakır 2nd Tactical Air Force Commands Military Prosecutor’s Office sent the file to Turkish General Staff Military Prosecutor’s Office by ruling the lack of venue as a result of finding the suspect retired General Hasan Kundakçı among the suspects. (AS/BAR/BM)
* Click here to read the article in Turkish.
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