Impossible to know how Tahir Elçi was shot: Expert report
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News AgencyAn expert report released on May 4 and prepared by a team consisting of five experts found it was impossible to determine medically and physically how Diyarbakır Bar Association head Tahir Elçi was shot and killed with the existing data. The report was released after crime scene investigations were concluded in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 17, four months after the murder.
Elçi, a human rights activist and head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association at the time of his murder, was killed during clashes between police and unknown perpetrators on Nov. 28, 2015.
Elçi and accompanying lawyers had just finished issuing a press statement to condemn special forces teams for damaging the base of Diyarbakır’s famous Four-Legged Minaret when gunshots rang out.
The gendarmerie units who took statements down said the crime scene had been disturbed and lost its characteristics during clashes between outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants and Turkish security forces following the attack.
The team consisting of forensic, crime scene, ballistic and technical photography analysis experts especially examined the office hit by the cartridge bullet thought to have killed Elçi during their efforts, which lasted for two days, as the investigation into the murder was ongoing.
Chief Public Prosecutor Ramazan Solmaz and bar association officials also took part in the examinations, in which cartridges belonging to two pistols and a long-barreled weapon were found in an office across from the location where Elçi was shot which had been hit by 150 bullets.
The examinations of the cartridges, which were among 23 pieces of evidence collected from the crime scene and sent to Ankara, were ongoing.
Eight possible shooting angles were determined according to the report, which stated that Elçi was shot from a long distance.
Elçi’s murder drew widespread condemnations with the United Nations expressing its concerns about the “chilling effect” Elçi’s murder may have on the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the country.
The commission investigating the killing of Elçi was attacked twice and forced to leave the site in November 2015.