Prosecutor may seek further move in Bitlis case

Prosecutor may seek further move in Bitlis case

Prosecutor may seek further move in Bitlis case

The death of former general Bitlis could not be enlightened since 1993. Hürriyet photo

The statute of limitations for the investigation into the suspicious death of former general Eşref Bitlis on Feb. 17, 1993 expired on Feb. 18, but the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office is still seeking ways to avoid implementing the statute.

The investigation into the death of Bitlis, who died in a plane crash, was launched after the emergence of a voice recording of retired Colonel Arif Doğan, who is a suspect in the ongoing Ergenekon trial. In the recording, Doğan reportedly states that he assisted in the “assassination” of Bitlis. Doğan has confirmed that the voice in the recordings is his, but claimed they were spliced together in order to incriminate him.

The statute of limitations for crimes that require a life sentence is 20 years, according to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

However, prosecutor Hüseyin Şahin, who is in charge of
the investigation, has yet to write a decision stating that “there is no need for prosecution due to the statute of limitations,” Anatolia news agency reported on Feb. 18, citing anonymous sources. Şahin has been assessing whether it is possible not to implement the statute of limitations within the framework of decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). ECHR instances exist in which the statute of limitations cannot be applied in crimes against
human life.