Expert report proves police report wrong in killing of Gezi protester
ANKARAAn expert report prepared into the killing of a man during the 2013 Gezi Park protests by a police officer has proved a police report wrong.
The expert report disproved the defense of the police officer, Ahmet Şahbaz, who shot dead protester Ethem Sarısülük on June 1, 2013, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sept. 6.
In his defense, Şahbaz said a rock thrown by protesters “may have changed the way he fired his weapon.”
“Due to the rock that hit my wrist, the position of the barrel might have changed and been directed toward Sarısülük’s head,” Şahbaz had said in his defense, which was refuted by the expert report saying no stones hit Şahbaz’s wrist that could have changed the position of his weapon.
Şahbaz was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison by the Ankara Sixth Court of Serious Crimes on charges of first-degree murder, rejecting the defense’s claim that the policeman fired his gun in legitimate defense on Sept. 3, 2014. The 6th Court of Serious Crimes in Ankara ordered the discharge of Şahbaz a year later.
The 17-page report stated that Şahbaz kicked the head of a protester, prompting the people in the vicinity to throw rocks at him.
“The police officer fires his initial shot into the air. It is seen that Sarısülük lifts his hand up to throw a rock in the meantime. The police officer then fires the second shot. It is seen that Sarısülük throws the rock at Şahbaz, who then fires the third shot while his right hand is up. Sarısülük falls to the ground and Şahbaz turns around and walks away from the scene,” the report also said.
Şahbaz shot Sarısülük as police were moving in on protesters in Ankara’s central Kızılay Square. Sarısülük died after being hospitalized for more than two weeks, becoming the third protester to be killed during the Gezi Park protests.