Prosecutors failing to go after those responsible for Soma disaster, lawyers say
Nurettin Kurt ANKARA / Hürriyet
Miners wait outside the entrance of a coal mine in Soma, western Turkey, early Thursday, May 15. AP PhotoProsecutors investigating the circumstances of the Soma mine disaster are failing to move against the real culprits in the case, according to lawyers frustrated by the slow pace of the investigation.
“In a massive disaster like this, the prosecution must immediately take the company owner and high-level managers into custody immediately following the incident,” said Erol Aras, who is on the board of directors of the Ankara Bar Association, adding that the senior officials should be detained at least until an expert report is prepared to prevent any tampering with evidence.
It is a “legal scandal” that no one has yet been detained, Aras said. “The company managers, who could be suspects in the investigation, are visiting the mine arm in arm with public officials.”
“As far as we can see, the prosecutors don’t know anything more than the average citizen,” said the lawyer.
Aras also criticized the prosecutor for immediately saying that the supervisors that they planned to arrest had died in the disaster.
“When the company’s management is responsible for everything that is good, for revenues and growth, two poor supervisors who work in the mine cannot be held responsible for bad things and disasters,” he said, noting that managers were seeking to absolve themselves of blame by transferring responsibilities on paper to supervisors who actually work in the mine. “The prosecutor must pay no heed to this and go and directly detain the company boss and the high-level officials.”