Constitutional Court cancels ruling based on testimony taken under torture
ANKARATurkey’s Constitutional Court has canceled a court ruling which sentenced a man on charges for being a member of the outlawed Turkish Communist Workers Party (TKİP), on the grounds that the suspect’s testimony had been taken under torture and could not be used as evidence by the court.
The court fined Turkey 16,650 Turkish Liras to be paid as compensation to Müslüm Turfan for violation of the right to a fair trial and the length of the proceedings. His file will be reopened and retried.
Turfan applied to the Constitutional Court in 2013 when his sentence was approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Turfan was detained on Nov. 12, 1998, and he was reportedly tortured both physically and psychologically. He had also reportedly signed several statements written by the police. Medical reports released later reported he had been subjected to torture. In his testimony at the prosecutor’s office, Turfan said his previous testimony taken in the police department was taken after he was tortured.
A number of police officers who had been charged with torturing suspected were acquitted. Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that the police officers had to be tried but the case was closed due to the statute of limitations. Turfan, however, was released from prison in 2004. He was sentenced to six years and three months in jail for being a member of the TKİP.