Ankara Regional Court of Justice 1st Criminal Division overturned the acquittal verdict of 19 people, including former Chief of Police and Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar, who were tried for 18 unsolved murders, of which Savaş Buldan (husband of HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan) was among the victims.
The decision was made unanimously on 5 April and lawyers were notified today (23 May).
The verdict of acquittal given at the Ankara 1st High Criminal Court on 13 December 2019, regarding the enforced disappearance and execution of 18 people in Ankara and surrounding cities between 1993 and 1996 — otherwise known as the “Ankara JİTEM case” — was overturned.
The defendants were charged with “deliberate killing by design within the framework of the activities of an armed organisation established to commit a crime”. However, the court decided to acquit, stating: “Considering where the murders were committed or the places where the victims were taken and executed, it is understood that the murders were committed by people who were confident that they would not be caught by the security forces.”
“There is no evidence that the defendants Mehmet Ağar, İbrahim Şahin and Mehmet Korkut Eken were the perpetrators of the murder of Ömer Lütfü Topal, or any of the other murders,” the court said.
The bullets were not investigated
In the latest decision of the Ankara Regional Court of Justice 1st Criminal Division, it was stated that the bullets in evidence were not investigated during previous hearings.
“The decision was made only by pointing out some of the reported differences in the statements of defendant Ayhan Çarkın, and the judgment was made with insufficient justification.”
Peker pointed out Mehmet Ağar
In his seventh video today, mafia leader Sedat Peker accused Mehmet Ağar of the unsolved murders.
Over the past couple of weeks, Sedat Peker, a well-known convicted mafia leader, has been releasing videos on YouTube about relations between the state and the mafia in Turkey. Peker has accused former police chief and minister Mehmet Ağar of the murder of Kurdish businessmen and the journalist Ugur Mumcu during the 1990s.
After Peker’s video, HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan posted a message on social media: “We have said it for years and now we are saying it again. Savaş Buldan and his friends were killed by those who ruled the state. Those who committed the murder were not tried and were acquitted easily. Now we go back to the beginning and take action to stand trial.”
Ankara JITEM case
Nineteen persons, among them former police chiefs and JITEM (Gendarmerie Intelligence Organisation) members, were tried by the Ankara 1st Assize Court for the murder of 18 persons during 1993-1996.
Defendants of the case were Mehmet Ağar, İbrahim Şahin, Korkut Eken, Ayhan Çarkın, Ayhan Akça, Ziya Bandırmalıoğlu, Ercan Ersoy, Ahmet Demirel, Ayhan Özkan, Seyfettin Lap, Enver Ulu, Uğur Şahin, Alper Tekdemir, Yusuf Yüksel, Abbas Semih Sueri, Lokman Külünk, Mahmut Yıldırım, Nurettin Güven, Muhsin Korman. The defendants were put on trial at the Ankara 1st Heavy Penal Court and charged with “killing people as part of the activities of an armed organisation established to commit crimes.”
The first investigation was initiated in 2011. While the first indictment regarding the murder of Abdülmecit Baskın was issued on 20 September 2013 due to the risk of the statute of limitations, later on the assassinations of Namık Erdoğan, Metin Vural, Recep Kuzucu, Behçet Cantürk, Savaş Buldan, Haci Karay, Adnan Yıldırım, İsmail Karaalioğlu, Yusuf Ekinci, Ömer Lutfi Topal, Hikmet Babataş, Medet Serhat, Feyzi Aslan, Lazem Esmaeili, Asker Smitko, Tarık Ümit, Salih Aslan, and Faik Candan were also included in the trial on 19 December 2013.