Trial into Gezi protester’s murder in Antakya relocated 1,300 kilometers away
İsmail Saymaz RADİKAL – Istanbul
Hatice Cömert holds her son Abdullah's picture ahead pf the first hearing in the case earlier this month in Antakya. AA PhotoThe trial into the murder of Abdullah Cömert, who died during last year’s Gezi protests in the southern city of Antakya, has been relocated to the Aegean city of Balıkesir, some 1,300 kilometers away, due to “security” concerns.
Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has approved a demand conveyed by the Justice Ministry after the lawyer representing the suspect police officer claimed that holding the trial in the southern Hatay province would not be safe.
Cömert died on June 2, 2013, after being hit by a tear gas canister during the height of the protests. The officer, identified only as A.K., faces up to 25 years for deliberate homicide.
Cömert’s lawyers have slammed the decision to relocate the trial.
“The family of Cömert is being continuously worn out economically, socially and psychologically. Why is Hatay not safe? Why would Balıkesir be safer? By choosing such a distant province, the courts are trying to prevent the trial from being followed,” the lawyers said in a statement.
The trial of another Gezi victim, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, was controversially relocated from Eskişehir to the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, in a move that was also justified on grounds of security.