Assailants fire into air by house of sexual abuse victim after offender rearrested

Assailants fire into air by house of sexual abuse victim after offender rearrested

İdris Emen – TEKİRDAĞ
Assailants fire into air by house of sexual abuse victim after offender rearrested The house of a 16-year-old sexual abuse victim, whose assailant was re-arrested after being freed despite being sentenced to a prison term, was attacked on Oct. 4 by two men who fired bullets into the air near her dwelling in the Marmaraereğlisi district of northwestern province of Tekirdağ.

The house of the victim, C.O., who lives with her Moldovan-origin mother, L.C., was attacked by the pair, whose identities remain unknown. The assailants, who arrived at the scene with a grey car with covered plates, fired 10 bullets into the air before disappearing. 

L.C. filed charges after the assault as the gendarmerie carried out an inspection around the house. Prosecutors have also initiated an investigation into the incident. 

Azmi Ergüney, the 73-year-old convicted of abusing C.O. when she was 12, was re-arrested on Oct. 3 after Istanbul prosecutors objected to his release on probation following the annulment of a law concerning the abuse of minors. 

The Silivri Court of Serious Crimes had ordered on Oct. 2 the release of Ergüney, who it had sentenced to 16 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison because the Turkish Constitutional Court annulled an article concerning the punishment of sexual acts committed against those under the age of 15.

According to the previous law, Article 103 of the Turkish Penal Code, all sexual acts committed against those under 15 were identified as sexual abuse. But in a May 26 decision issued following an appeal made by a local court, the top legal body ordered a change and set a six-month period for the change to go into force, with the expectation that it would be replaced with a new law to ensure there were no legal loopholes.

In its decision concerning the offense committed by Ergüney, the judges of the case said that although the suspect must de jure be placed under arrest, because the Constitutional Court’s decision will only go into effect on Jan. 13, 2017 and because the legislative authority has not yet passed a new law to replace the annulled one, the convict should be freed on probation.

The judges said that if they ordered arrest and there is no replacement regulation enacted by the time the annulment goes into effect, the convict would be allowed to claim that his rights have been violated.
Releasing a two-page justification on its decision after he was rearrested, the court said the probation decision issued to Ergüney did not always prevent flight risks, noting that he could flee due to his “socio-economic situation.” 

The court also stated that even if the offender remains in prison until the end of the six-month period and is necessarily released due to the absence of any replacement legislation, his time in prison would not be tantamount to a rights violation. 

The court also said that if such a case occurs, he could apply for compensation in restitution for the time spent in jail.