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After being referred from one court to another, the lawsuit regarding the death of the 19 year-old Şahin Öner who was hit by an armoured vehicle four years ago in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır, has last been sent to the assize court. Antep Regional Court of Justice examining the case confirmed that Öner's death was "not an accident but a willful murder" and ruled that the police officer S.K., who is claimed to be responsible of Öner's death, stand trial before Assize Court.
Why could the trial not start?
First hearing of the trial was held on June 29, 2017 before Diyarbakır 7th Criminal Court of First Instance. The only suspect, police officer S.K. did not attend the hearing.
Approving the Öner's family's lawyers demand the court ruled that it was a "willful murder" rather then "reckless murder" and sent the file to the assize court.
The Forensic Medicine Institute issued a report on November 12, 2014 and confirmed that the incident could not be considered simple traffic accident. Yet the Diyarbakır 1st Assize Court ruling non-jurisdiction on the case later, decided that the incident was an accident and sent the case to Antep Regional Court of Justice for the conflict of jurisdiction between the courts to be solved.
Speaking to bianet, Öner's family's lawyer Abdullah Zeytun said, "the court ruled non-jurisdiction based on abstract evidence aimed at vindicating the defendant", and added "the [court] committee rendering this verdict while there is this much evidence must be written down in history".
Antep Regional Court of Justice examining the case affirmed the first trial court's decision that Öner's death was "not an accident but a willful murder" and referred the case to Diyarbakır 1st Assize Court ruling the verdict of non-jurisdiction be reversed.
Diyarbakır 1st Assize Court decided that the first hearing be held on February 15, 2018 and a notification be sent to Diyarbakır Security Directorate to arrange that the suspect appear before court on the first hearing.
Police intervened in the protest staged in Şehitlik neighborhood in Diyarbakır's district of Yenişehir on February 10, 2013. 19-year-old high school student Şahin Öner lost his life.
Diyarbakır Governorship said, "he lost his life when one attempted to take the explosive from his hand". However, according to the preliminary autopsy report, Öner "died resulting from being crushed in an accident".
Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch Vice Chair Lawyer Serdar Çelebi told bianet they examined Öner's autopsy report and no trace of explosive could be found in the report to the contrary of governorship's allegation.
Two eyewitnesses also testified that Öner died in an armored vehicle crushing him.
Besides, the İHD Diyarbakır Branch stated that despite fatal injuries, Öner was taken to a garden of a police station rather than a hospital, and then was taken to a hospital after being kept there for half an hour.
However, Office of the Chief Prosecutor Authorized Through Anti-Terror Law Article 10 rendered verdict of non-jurisdiction for the police driver of the vehicle on offense of "reckless homicide" and sent it to the prosecutor's office. Following the investigation of four years, the case opened through this offense.
First hearing of the trial was held on June 29, 2017. Approving the Öner's family's lawyers demand, Diyarbakır 7th Criminal Court of First Instance ruled that it was a "willful murder" and sent the filed to the heavy penal court.
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