"Police Cover Up in Okey's Death"
The Contemporary Lawyers' Association (CHD) calls for police officers, responsible for Nigerian immigrant Okey off duty and an immediate investigation by the prosecution.
İstanbul - Bıa news centre
13 September 2007, Thursday
In a press statement related to the death of Nigerian refugee Festus (Faustus) Okey in police detention, the Contemporary Lawyers' Association (CHD) has accused the Istanbul Police Department of influencing judiciary institutions and trying to cover up the murder.
No camera recordings
Okey had been detained by the Beyoglu police in central Istanbul on 20 August and was killed by a shot under detention. On 7 September, it was confirmed that Okey was shot by a gun carried by police officer C.Y., but that Okey had been carrying cocaine and had been carrying a false ID card.
The police also said that they only had cameras in the cells, but not in other areas of the station. The alleged shuffle during which a shot fell is said to have taken place in the corridors.
CHD: "Execution during detention"
The CHD has responded by saying: "By revealing personal information about Festus Okey and even his friends, the Istanbul Police Department is trying to convince us that Festus Okey was a person with a long police record, a criminal. We wonder if the Istanbul Police Department believes that if we are convinced of Festus Okey's 'guilt', that the 'execution during detention' will not count as a crime against humanity?"
The lawyers' association further called for the Istanbul Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah, the Beyoglu Police Chief, the police chief at the department of public security where the incident took place, and police officer C.Y. who is said to have killed Festus Okey to be taken off duty in order to allow a proper investigation of the event.
CHD: "Immediate investigation"
The CHD has criticised the investigating prosecutor for delaying to request the arrest of police officer C.Y and for waiting for permission to investigate: "According to Article 100 of the Penal Trial Code, Okey's death is a crime which should lead to immediate arrests. The crimes of torture and police judiciary processes are excluded from Law No. 4483 on the Trials of Civil Servants and other Public Officers. According to the law, crimes which require heavy punishment and where a person was caught in the act of committing a crime, the prosecution needs to investigate immediately, without waiting for permission." (TK/AG)