The price of a life is 10,000 lira. The police officer who killed Ethem Sarısülük walks free.
Ethem Sarısülük died from a bullet that struck him in the head during a protest held in Kızılay Square in support of the Gezi Park protests on 1 June 2013. Police officer Ahmet Şahbaz, who was remanded in custody accused of shooting Sarısülük and stood trial at Ankara Serious Crime Court No 6, was sentenced to seven years, nine months and ten days’ imprisonment.
VERDICT QUASHED BY COURT OF CASSATION AND ACCUSED RELEASED
Penal Chamber No 1 of the Court of Cassation quashed the verdict on procedural grounds and remitted the file to the first-instance court. It was subsequently decided for the trial to be held in Aksaray for security reasons and police officer Şahbaz was also released from remand.
Attending today’s hearing of the trial heard before Aksaray Serious Crime Court were Ethem Sarısülük's mother, Sayfı, and his brothers Cem Sarısülük and İkrar Sarısülük along with the parties’ counsel. Police officer Ahmet Şahbaz, on pre-trial release, attended the hearing via a video link.
Presiding judge İlker Aktaş announced that 31 CDs, the expert’s report compiled at the request of Ethem Sarısülük's big brother Mustafa Sarısülük and reports emanating from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation had been examined.
The bench, taking into consideration that the accused, Ahmet Şahbaz, had been determined to have committed the offence of ‘causing death through negligence’ and the manner in which the offence was committed, the accused’s degree of negligence-based fault and the seriousness of the ensuing injury, handed down a two-year custodial sentence. The sentence was first reduced by one-sixth pursuant to Article 27/1 of the Turkish Penal Code (on exceeding the bounds of exemption from penal liability) to one year and eight months, and, following a good-behaviour reduction, he was sentenced to one year, four months and twenty days in jail. The court bench converted the custodial sentence into an administrative fine of 10,100 lira.