Police who shot dead Gezi protester fined $2,800
ISTANBULA court in Istanbul has fined a police officer who shot dead a protester during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.
The court sentenced Ahmet Şahbaz to one year, four months and 20 days in prison for killing Ethem Sarısülük but later converted the sentence into a punitive fine of roughly 2,800 dollars, Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 19.
“Are you giving a punitive fine?” said the lawyer and the relatives of Sarısülük in reaction to the court decision.
The relatives and the lawyer of Sarısülük attended the hearing held in the Aksaray Court of Serious Crimes while Şahbaz, who was being tried without arrest, took part in the hearing through the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS).
The chief judge said the evidence regarding the killing had been examined in detail by the court and that both sides had presented their case, making it appropriate to reach a decision.
“My wish is for the court to look into the core of the case and issue a fair decision,” Şahbaz told the court in his final defense, adding that “he didn’t act with malice.”
“I didn’t act with the slightest malice. The attacks of the protesting group were recorded. I fired into the air. I was subjected to intense rock attacks. I’m not a wood block or a concrete column. That was how much I was subjected to rocks. I directed the weapon into the air so that no negative situation would occur. This incident occurred because the protesters threw rocks at me,” he added.
The court sentenced Şahbaz to one year, four months and 20 days in prison for “causing death surpassing the intention of self-defense” before converting the term to a punitive fine of 10,100 Turkish Liras (around 2,800 dollars).
Şahbaz shot Sarısülük as police were moving in on protesters in Ankara’s central Kızılay Square at the beginning of June 2013. Sarısülük died after being hospitalized for more than two weeks, becoming the third protester to be killed during the Gezi Park protests after Mehmet Ayvalıtaş and Abdullah Cömert.