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When caused death of an unborn without intent, then it is not a murder case, as unborn baby is not legally recognized as a person in the Turkish law.

When caused death of an unborn without intent, then it is not a murder case, as unborn baby is not legally recognized as a person in the Turkish law.

An Istanbul court has sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for attempt to murder a pregnant woman, while it did not charge the man for killing the unborn 5.5-month-old baby as unborn babies are not legally recognized as a person.

The Bakırköy 3rd High Criminal Court charged M.S. to aggravated life imprisonment for attempting to murder “a woman knowing that she was pregnant,” Anatolia news agency reported.

The woman survived the attack and the court decided that the crime would remain an “attempt,” decreasing the sentence to 15 years in jail. However, this sentence was decreased to 12 years and six months in jail for “good conduct abatement” during the trials.

M.S. shot M.Y on January 2012 in Istanbul’s Esenler district for an unknown reason.

Sentence higher if victim is pregnant

The court’s decision is in line with the Turkish criminal code, according to experts, as an unborn baby is not legally recognized as a person. The code also increases the sentence of a crime committed against a pregnant woman on the grounds that a pregnant woman’s loss – such as that of an unborn baby – would be more than that of a non-pregnant woman.

“In Turkish Criminal Court, causing a miscarriage or abortion is a crime and a crime can be committed against a newborn. The target of the suspect was not the baby but the woman. So this court decision is right based on our laws,” lawyer Ergin Cinmen told Hürriyet Daily News on March 29.

“An unborn baby does not possess a complete personality until the day it is born according to law,” said Cinmen. According to Article 99 of Turkish Criminal Law, causing the miscarriage of a baby without the permission of the mother carries a 5 to 10-year jail sentence unless the miscarriage is reported as a medical necessity.

Professor Timur Demirbaş, an academic from İzmir Economy University’s Law Faculty, echoed the accuracy of the court’s decision as the suspect did not intended to harm the baby. Demirbaş told the Daily News that the court punished the suspect with aggravated life imprisonment because the woman was pregnant.

“If the woman was not pregnant, he would be charged with life imprisonment only. And because the woman survived the attack, his charge would be decreased from 9 to 15 years in jail.”

If the pregnant victim of an attempted murder survives, the court charges the suspect 13 to 20 years in jail, Demirbaş said, adding that a higher court might increase the 15-year-sentence of the Bakırköy court to 20 years if the case goes to appeal, but the suspect would not be charged for killing the unborn baby.

March/30/2013

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