Cat killer can’t be jailed, Turkish judge regrets
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyA Turkish judge ruled that a 27-year-old woman, who was seen on security footage killing two stray kittens on Aug. 10, 2014 in Istanbul, should stay in a mental hospital until her conditions are determined, while regretting his inability to rule any jail term for such a crime.
The woman, Derya Koçak, did not attend the first hearing of the case held by the 79th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul as she was in a hospital. Ayşe Kayan, the owner of the kittens killed in the Silivrikapı neighborhood of Fatih, was present in the courthouse and said that she did not feel safe in the streets while Koçak was free.
Lawyer Deniz Tavşancıl Kalafatoğlu said that the suspect has been released from hospitals in the past on the grounds that she was healed and no threat to the public.
“We demand that the court put the suspect under custody,” Kalafatoğlu said.
Judge Muhsin Yatağan said that while he also regretted the situation, “Unfortunately, [such patients] are released from hospitals with a report stating [the patient] ‘received social treatment’ even if [the patient] committed murder. I have to comply with law.”
However, he ruled that Koçak should remain in a Bakırköy mental hospital for three weeks to determine her mental condition.
Turkish police detained Koçak on Aug. 12, 2014, on suspicion of killing two stray kittens.
The footage showed a woman kicking and running over two kittens, as a black cat, apparently their mother, tried to protect its offspring, in a deserted street in the Fatih neighborhood. The same woman is thought to have killed other stray cats and dogs in the neighborhood, according to Doğan News Agency.
Koçak, who was treated for a mental disorder in the past, said in her statement that the person in the video was her, although she “can’t remember” the incident.
The camera footage was obtained after locals who saw the dead kittens inquired about the incident.