Court rejects ‘insufficient’ indictment on Soma mine disaster
DHA PhotoA Manisa court has rejected an indictment prepared as a part of an investigation into the death of 301 miners who were killed in Turkey’s deadliest industrial accident in May, finding it “insufficient.”
The Akhisar Heavy Penalty Court has returned the indictment to the public prosecutor’s office on the grounds that the document was prepared before all the complainants had testified and before the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)’s report on the sensors in the mine was delivered, according to initial reports.
Manisa Bar Association head Zeynel Balkız said the indictment could not be accepted with these missing points.
The indictment will be presented to the court after the prosecutor’s office addresses the deficiencies.
A total of 45 suspects, including eight under arrest, are facing charges in the indictment, in which 214 relatives of killed miners and 161 miners who were affected by smoke from the incident have been cited as complainants.
The prosecutors had demanded the eight arrested suspects each be sentenced to 301 jail terms of between 20-25 years and 161 jail terms of between two and six years. The suspects pending trial face between two and 20 years in jail.
Soma Coal Mine Company CEO Can Gürkan, General Manager Ramazan Doğru, Operating Manager Akın Çelik, shift supervisors Yasin Kurnaz, Hilmi Kazık and İsmail Adalı and technicians Ertan Ersoy and Mehmet Ali Günay are those who have been arrested as a part of the probe.
The indictment had also stated that an investigation is continuing into public officials who were found to be at fault.
The May accident sent shockwaves through Turkey, drawing attention to a lack of workplace safety and sparking outcry against companies making millions of dollars of profit without investing in the safety of their employees.