Deniz Tekin / DUVAR
The first court hearing with regards to the murder of Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist Tahir Elçi is scheduled to take place on Oct. 21, five years after his death.
Tahir Elçi’nin öldürülmesine ilişkin 5 yıl aradan sonra açılan davanın ilk duruşması 21 Ekim 2020 Çarşamba günü saat 10:00’da Diyarbakır 10. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesinde görülecek. #TahirElçi pic.twitter.com/zidS1hcdVr— Tahir Elçi İnsan Hakları Vakfı (@tahirelcivakfi) October 19, 2020
Three police officers and a man claimed to be a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) stand as suspects in the murder case.Slain Diyarbakır bar head's wife to work as intern lawyer in case into his killing
Prosecutors are seeking from three to nine years for the three police officers in question on charges of “causing death with conscious negligence” whereas seeking three aggravated life sentences for Uğur Yakışır, who is also accused of murdering two police officers that were killed on the same day with Elçi.
Elçi, who was head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, was killed in broad daylight on Nov. 28, 2015, while speaking to the media to call for an end to ongoing conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK.
Elçi’s press conference was interrupted when two alleged members of the PKK ran through the scene, moments after they had shot and killed two police officers nearby.
Police who had been at the press conference opened fire as the pair ran past, and several shots were fired. Elçi received a bullet to the back of his head and lost his life at the scene of the incident.Evidence in Tahir Elçi murder case was covered up: Forensics worker
Diyarbakır Bar Association and Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation have criticized the indictment in the murder case, saying that the inclusion of Yakışır as a suspect in the case is inconsistent and is an attempt to divert the attention from the real perpetrators.
Diyarbakır Bar Association had previously asked Forensic Architecture, a research agency based in the University of London, to investigate Elçi's death by analyzing the camera footages. The Forensic Architecture had said in their report in 2019 that three police officers on the scene were the most likely suspects, ruling out the possibility of alleged PKK members shooting at Elçi.
Meanwhile, the murder case file includes a 2016 complaint letter addressing then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, which was at the time filed through the Prime Ministry's Communication Center (BİMER). The complaint letter belongs to a police officer whose identity is kept secret by Justice Ministry.
The police officer in question has accused the Turkish intelligence service of negligence in Elçi's murder as they had been already following the two people said to be members of the PKK. The police officer asked why these two alleged militants had not been previously caught as their whereabouts was already known.