Turkish court releases policeman who killed two boys with vehicle in southeast
ŞIRNAK – Doğan News Agency
A court in the southeastern province of Şırnak released a police officer on Oct. 17, who was standing trial after killing two children in the Silopi district of the province with his armored car late on May 3.
The police officer, whose name is Ömer Yeğit, was driving in the Silopi district of the province when he crashed into the house where Muhammet Yıldırım, 7, and Furkan Yıldırım, 6, were asleep, killing the two boys with his armored vehicle. The subsequent investigation implicated Yeğit and his superior Murat Maden.
During the case’s first hearing on Oct. 17, Yeğit, then in custody, held his superiors accountable in his defense, since he had not received any special training in the use of the armored vehicle and possessed only a regular, B-class driving license.
“I put so much effort to prevent the accident, but could not prevent it. In the expert’s report, it says ‘If it were trained personnel, the accident would have been prevented,’ but that is not the case. Despite all my efforts, the break system did not kick in,” Yeğit told the court.
“Despite not having a document [license], I was put on duty. The chief of police and authorities are the responsible ones,” he said.
Yeğit’s superior police officer, Murat Maden, who stood trial without arrest, said in his defense that he could not know in advance if the person assigned to use the armored vehicle was licensed to drive it or not.
The hearing was also observed by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak Deputy Leyla Birlik, Bar President of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır Ahmet Özmen, and Şırnak Bar President Nuşirevan Elçi as well as the killed boys’ family members.
Elçi briefly took the floor during the hearing. “It is in itself a mistake for the vehicle to be driven by one person. The suspect should stand trial on probable intent. We demand the continuation of his detention,” he said.
Diyarbakır Bar President Ahmet Özmen indicated during the hearing that the suspect should not be on trial for “causing more than one person’s death recklessly,” but instead for “premeditated murder,” as is the case in accidents involving unlicensed people.
After deciding on Yeğit’s release, the court ordered that a scout be undertaken at the scene of the incident on Nov. 22, and adjourned the case.