Two given jail sentences over killing of Gezi protester Ali İsmail Korkmaz
KAYSERİA Turkish court on has sentenced one policeman and one civilians to short jail terms for beating a university student to death during the 2013 Gezi Park protests, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The court in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri gave nearly seven years to baker Ebubekir Harlar, 24, for “intentionally causing injury leading to death” as well as seven months to policeman Hüseyin Engin, 37, for causing deliberate injury in the murder of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who was 19 at the time.
The pair had previously been acquitted of charges in the case, in which Korkmaz was beaten to death by police and vigilantes as he ran down a street in Eskişehir while attempting to escape a police intervention on Gezi protesters.
“I demand the previous decision from the court,” Harlar said. “I demand to be acquitted. I know that I am innocent.”
Engin also demanded his acquittal.
Meanwhile, Korkmaz’s parents said their pain had been resurrected after being forced to come to Kayseri for the trial.
“We see that justice is not running smoothly and that murderers are being protected. They protect these people by giving them punishments that are like nothing,” said the victim’s father, Şaban Korkmaz.
Turkey’s Supreme Court approved a local court’s decision to jail two police officers for over 10 years for Korkmaz’s death in December 2016.
Officers Mevlüt Saldoğan and Yalçın Akbulut, who were both convicted to 10 years and 10 months in jail, will serve prison terms that were handed down by a Kayseri court after the case was re-evaluated.
The Korkmaz family, meanwhile, said they would apply to the Constitutional Court to demand the convicts receive heavier sentences, arguing that the decision was not given based on charges of premeditated murder.
Korkmaz was beaten on June 2, 2013, by the collection of officers and civilians, succumbing to his injuries on July 10, 2013, after spending 38 days in a coma.