The Erzurum Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled to impose a fine of TL 3,000 (approximately $450, less than the fine for breaking curfew) on police officer O.Ş., who was accused of torturing four villagers, but deferred the execution of its verdict, the Evrensel daily reported.
Following a rocket attack on a district police station in the eastern city of Van, four villagers were detained by the police on June 9, 2017, on their way back from foraging for mushrooms. The villagers were severely tortured, and their photos were shared on social media. They were later acquitted of the charge of “intentionally aiding a terrorist organization” and were able to identify one of the police officers involved, O.Ş.
A lower court acquitted police officer O.Ş. of torture, claiming that the video of the incident was too dark to identify the perpetrators. The Erzurum Court of Appeals, however, imposed a fine of TL 3,000 on O.Ş. for using excessive force and deliberately causing injury. The court also deferred the execution of its verdict, citing the absence of a prior conviction and the absence of damages resulting from the crime.
In cases of deferred verdicts, the individuals are monitored for five years. If they willfully commit another crime or act in violation of the ruling, then the deferred verdict is executed.