Court rejects arrest demand for suspect police officer accused of killing Gezi victim Berkin Elvan
ISTANBULA court has rejected the arrest demand for a police officer who is suspected of killing Berkin Elvan, a 14-year-old who died after being shot by a tear gas canister by police during the Gezi Park Protests in June 2013.
The police officer, identified only by the initials F.D., denied the accusations, saying that he did not kill anyone.
F.D. said he did not remember the officers assigned to the team that day during the protests, adding that he was not the only one to use the gas canisters.
“I did not use the gas canisters to cause anyone to die during the protests. Also, footage emerged from that time of the incident is not clear. I could not identify anybody. I also could not see myself in the footage,” he said in his hearing on April 6.
Tension rose during the trial. Elvan’s mother fainted after she said that she was still waiting for a loaf of bread. Elvan had been killed during clashes between police and protestors when he left his house to buy a loaf of bread.
The court rejected the arrest demand for the suspect due to lack of evidence after his hearings and said there was no doubt that he would run away because of his duty.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters gathered in front of the courthouse building before the trial. Police intervened and detained four of the protesters who were chanting and holding banners.
The Istanbul 17th Court of Serious Crimes accepted an indictment about Elvan on Dec. 21, 2016.
The indictment was completed on Dec. 7, 2016 after nearly three years of investigation, with the prosecutor saying the police officer had displayed “probable intent” in killing the boy.
Elvan, then 14, became a symbol of the 2013 Gezi Park protests after he was shot by a tear gas canister fired by police in June 2013. He died in March 2014 after 269 days in a coma.
The prosecutor’s office had sought life sentence for the suspect police officer, who said he did not remember whether or not he fired a gas canister during the incident.
The court postponed the case to July 6.