Soma mine company lawyers object paying compensation to victims for 'making disasters desirable'
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
Thousands of people, some carrying images of miners, march in Istanbul on May 25 to protest the Soma mine disaster that killed 301 miners. AP Photo / emrah GürelLawyers of the Soma Holding, which owns the mine where 301 workers died in an accident on May 13, told the court that 393,000 Turkish Liras compensation demanded by one victim’s family will make the disaster something “to be longed for” by others.
The family lawyer of İsmail Değirmen, one of the 301 miners who died in a coal mine accident in the Soma district of Manisa province, demanded 393,000 liras for the widow and two sons of the miner from Soma Holding, which operated the mine.
However, the lawyers representing the company said in their defense that the compensation demanded was too high as it will make the disasters something to be longed for by the victim’s families. The lawyers also said that all assets of the holding are already frozen by the court after the accident, and said that the company will not be able to pay the compensation even if they win the case.
The lawyer’s defense included further controversial statements. Soma Holding’s lawyers told the court that the company was not at fault in the accident saying that “the accident might even be caused by sabotage,” recalling that an investigation into the accident is currently ongoing.
The Soma accident became the largest mining disaster in the country’s history, triggering an investigation into the operating company, whose officials deny any wrongdoing. The company’s chairman, Can Gürkan, and general manager, Ramazan Doğru, are still under arrest along with several other officials while the owner, Alp Gürkan, is being investigated on charges of fraud.