Prosecutor appeals court verdict for suspect sentenced over Gezi victim Ali İsmail Korkmaz’s killing
İsmail Saymaz ISTANBUL
Korkmaz was beaten to death by a group of officers and civilians in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir during the 2013 Gezi protests.The public prosecutor in the case into the killing of 19-year-old Gezi victim Ali İsmail Korkmaz has appealed the sentence given to police officer Mevlüt Saldoğan, claiming that Saldoğan should have been sentenced to life in prison on charges of first degree murder.
On Jan. 21, Saldoğan was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison by the Kayseri 3rd High Criminal Court on charges of injuring and causing the death of Korkmaz. He could be granted probation as early as March 2019 as he has already been under arrest for 18 months.
Korkmaz was beaten to death by a group of officers and civilians in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir during the 2013 Gezi protests.
Public prosecutor Mehmet Kalkan, who had prepared the indictment in the Korkmaz case, said in his appeal petition that Saldoğan’s last three kicks to Korkmaz’s head showed a “murder intention” and so he should be sentenced to life.
In his petition, Kalkan said Saldoğan and Yalçın Akbulut, a fellow police officer convicted in the case, hit Korkmaz, who had already fallen to the ground from previous blows, before running away. Saldoğan then came back to hit Korkmaz three times in the head, claiming that Korkmaz had insulted him.
“Police officer suspect Mevlüt Saldoğan, kicking the victim three times in the head area upon the alleged insult sometime after the injurious act was committed, should be considered as exceeding the intention of injuring and aiming at manslaughter,” read a part of the appeal.
Akbulut was also sentenced to 10 years in prison, with a two year reduction in his sentence for good behavior. He could also be released in six years and two months.
The court’s verdicts had caused fury from the victim’s family and lawyers, who were expecting much stiffer sentences. However, on Jan. 23 Saldoğan and Akbulut also appealed their verdicts.
Civilians İsmail Koyuncu, Ramazan Koyuncu and Muhammet Vatansever were all sentenced to six years and eight months on charges of assault. Another suspect, Ebubekir Harlar, was released on the basis of various reductions, although he was still sentenced to three years and four months in jail.
Two other police officers, Şaban Gökpınar and Hüseyin Engin, were acquitted.