17 September 1997


Four police officers on trial for Goktepe murder freed, as eighth hearing in trial held

Incident details

Metin Goktepe



(RSF/IFEX) - In a 15 September 1997 press release, RSF reported
that, after the eighth hearing in the trial of eleven police
officers accused of murdering journalist Metin Goktepe, four of
the officers -- Fadai Korkmaz, Murat Polat, Burhan Koc and Metin
Kusat -- were released pending a verdict in the case. Five are
still detained, while arrest warrants have not been issued for
the two remaining officers. An RSF delegation was present at the
15 September hearing, held in the Afyon Court of Assizes (in
western Turkey). The next hearing is scheduled for 9 October.

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 22 August, 30 July, 27 June 1997, 18
October, 9 January 1996, and others**

Goktepe, a journalist with the leftist daily "Evrensel", was
arrested and beaten to death on 8 January 1996 (see IFEX alerts).
For the first time since the trial began, all eleven police
officers accused of his murder were present at the hearing. Nine
of them were arrested in July and August (see IFEX alerts).

During the hearing, the defendants stated they had not used
violence on 8 January 1996 and had not known Goktepe at the time.
Seydi Battal Kose, one of Eyup district's chiefs of police, added
that the daily "Evrensel" was unknown to him at the time.

RSF is astounded that four officers were released only a few
weeks after their arrest. RSF hopes this decision does not mean
the return of the stalling tactics used up to now to stop the
normal course justice should be taking.


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