Acquittals in the case of unsolved murders of 90’s upheld on appeal / BIANET ENGLISH

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The Ankara 1st Heavy Penal Court had acquitted 18 defendants, including Mehmet Ağar and Korkut Eken in the case regarding 18 unidentified murders of the 1990’s, on the grounds that « the commission of the crime by the defendants was not proven. »

Bianet English, March 4, 2024

The appellate court upheld the statute of limitations and acquittal rulings in the case of unsolved murders of 1990’s in Ankara.

According to a report by Asuman Aranca from T24, the court ruled that the statute of limitations had expired for the murders of Abdulmecit Baskın and Behçet Cantürk, while it found the acquittal decision to be justified for the other murders in the case.

One of the members of the appellate court appended a dissenting opinion of 160 pages to the decision.

The case will be taken to the Court of Cassation.

The case

In December 20, 2013, an indictment was issued concerning the perpetrators of some unsolved murders in the 1990s.

According to the indictment, the defendants were accused of the murders of the following individuals: Abdülmecit Baskın, Namık Erdoğan, Metin Vural, Recep Kuzucu, Behçet Cantürk, Savaş Buldan, Hacı Karay, Adnan Yıldırım, İsmail Karaalioğlu, Yusuf Ekinci, Ömer Lutfi Topal, Hikmet Babataş, Medet Serhat, Feyzi Aslan, Lazem Esmaeılı, Asker Smıtko, Tarık Ümit, Salih Aslan, and Faik Candan, among whom were Kurdish politicians, Kurdish businesspersons, drug smugglers, lawyers, and a Turkish intelligence officer. 

The defendants were tried at the Ankara 1st Heavy Penal Court for the crime of « murder within the scope of the activities of an armed organization formed to commit crimes. »

The verdict was delivered on December 13, 2019. Mahmut Yıldırım, a rogue agent codenamed « Yeşil, » was still considered « fugitive, » so it was ordered to separate his file.

All other defendants, including Mehmet Ağar (former Director General of Public Security, former Elazığ MP and former Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice) and Korkut Eken (a former military officer and National Intelligence Organization agent) were acquitted. 

The panel stated « there is no evidence in the file » while announcing the acquittal verdict and did not consider any objections from the intervening lawyers in this regard.

The case was retried following the Court of Cassation’s decision to overturn it, but the verdict remained unchanged.

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