Turkish soldier sentenced to 20 years for ‘manslaughter through torture’

Turkish soldier sentenced to 20 years for ‘manslaughter through torture’

DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
Turkish soldier sentenced to 20 years for ‘manslaughter through torture’

DHA photo

A Turkish sub-lieutenant has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing a detainee through torture in 1992 in the Bismil district of the southeastern Diyarbakır province.  

Sub-lieutenant Salih Üner, nicknamed “Rambo” by his colleagues, was found guilty of killing Abdülkadir Kurt after forcing a security baton into his anus in 1992, according to a court ruling issued on Feb. 11. 

Kurt, who was 36 years old at the time, was detained with several others in 1992 in the Ağıllı village of Bismil over alleged support to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He died on April 19, 1992 due to internal and external bleeding caused by the torture, according to his autopsy. Following a criminal complaint filed by Kurt’s family, 15 soldiers were charged in 1994 with “killing by torture” and “complicity in torture.”

The case, which had been delayed, was resumed in 2010, with Üner facing an aggravated life sentence on charges of “deliberate killing by torture.” 

Upon the application of Üner’s lawyers, the case - which was supposed to be seen at a local court in Diyarbakır in May 2012 - was taken to Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals and it was dismissed. 

In March 2013, Üner was again arrested and tried and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Upon appeal, however, the case was again dismissed in April 2015 due to “lack of grounds.” 

Üner denied the charges against him in yet another court hearing held in May 2015.

“The incident is blamed on me. But I have no links to this incident. I’m on trial for a crime I did not commit,” he said.

However, the court again found Üner guilty, sentencing him to 20 years in prison for “involuntary manslaughter through torture” while trying to extract a confession. 

The court also banned Üner from all public service.