Case opened against policeman, 25 years demanded for ‘intentional killing’ of Gezi protester
İsmail Saymaz ISTANBUL / RadikalAn official lawsuit has been opened into a policeman on charges of “intentional killing” of Gezi protester Abdullah Cömert, with the prosecutors’ office demanding up to 25 years in the indictment.
Cömert, who took to the streets in the southern province of Hatay in support of demonstrations that started in Gezi Park last year, died on June 3, 2013 after suffering a head trauma.
The indictment said there was “no doubt” that Cömert died after being shot in the head by a gas canister, according to the report by the forensic medicine institute. The policeman in question, Ahmet Kuş, was responsible for firing a tear gas capsule into a vehicle driving in the street where Cömert was shot, it added.
According to Kuş’s testimony regarding the indictment, his police team intervened in the protests in Hatay on June 3 at around 11:00 p.m. He said he had fired “around 25 to 30 tear gas canisters” in a “controlled manner” based on prior training, and added that he did not directly target protesters.
Kuş reportedly stated that he did not know whether a canister hitting a person directly could have a lethal effect and had never witnessed such an incident before. He added that the distance to fire gas canisters should be 100-150 meters, depending on the weapon.
According to a witness, Devren Demircioğlu, who attended the protests with Cömert, the vehicle from which tear gas was fired was no more than 30 meters from the targets. Eight other witnesses also confirmed that Cömert was hit by a canister fired by police.
The prosecutor’s indictment said the distance between Cömert and where the canister was fired was 36 meters, underlining that the weight of the canister is 150 gr and its maximum range is between 90 and 150 meters.
The indictment claimed that Kuş intentionally caused Cömert’s death by firing a tear gas canister at the crowd, despite knowing that it could be fatal if it hit someone.
The indictment has been accepted for prosecution by the Hatay 2nd High Criminal Court.