"Everything is proved except the moment of sexual assault. This moment cannot be proved at any case apart from very exceptional ones. Sexual assault is not a crime committed publicly; there exists no eyewitness." Cevriye Aydın, one of the lawyers of the victim woman at the case of mass rape in Fethiye, reviews the decision of acquittal for eight defendants (two of the defendants were children) due to lack of evidence.
Even though there's the decision of acquittal due to lack of evidence, Lawyer Aydın defines the concrete evidences presented to the court as follows:
* Forensic Medicine Institute report showing that the victim lived a posttraumatic stress disorder due to sexual assault and this trauma directly deteriorated the mental health of the victim.
* Official Identification Record in which the victim chooses 7 defendants among 12 people.
* Call records of the defendants supporting the statements of the victim woman.
* Base station determination proving that the defendants were at the same place just as the woman declared.
* Expert witness statements (psychologist and psychiatrist) supporting that the declaration of the woman is true.
The reason of the acquittal decision has not been announced yet. However, the lawyers of the victim woman plan to appeal and then consult to European Court Of Human Rights (AİHM).
"The expert report was delayed and it was incomplete"
"We are always in between Forensic Medical Institutions, the prosecutor's office, police station and the thermal spring facility where the incident occurred. The investigation and lawsuit process is not suitable for gathering evidence and it's carried out perfunctory"
" Our most important request that would provide concrete evidence was the base station determination, telephone/call records and computer records of the defendants. These are all concrete evidences and if they are not gathered immediately there may be spoliation of evidence. However, the expert report was prepared a month later and it didn't include the base station determination and telephone call records."
" 'There were porn images on the computers' and 'There are no criminal evidences' written at the report. However, the court didn't allow us to see these images despite our demands. We couldn't see the evidence that exists at the report. Principle of a fair trial was violated completely."
"In addition, the are of expertise of the expert was not mentioned; there were only the name, surname and the signature of the expert at the report. The investigation and lawsuit process is not suitable for gathering evidence and it's carried out perfunctory."
"Forensic Medicine Institute: 'The victim was raped' "
"Despite of the detailed statements of our client and the Forensic Medicine Institute report, the prosecution office declared to proceed no further. We objected to this decision. Muğla High Criminal Court also affirmed the decision."
Notes about the Fethiye case process:
* A woman was raped by eight men at Gebeler thermal spring facility in Fethiye. Due to the drugs given to her and the trauma she experienced, she could hardly remember what happened to her after a period of psychological support.
* The case could be presented after 4 years and around 30 women lawyers became the defence lawyer of the victim.
* At the first hearing on January 26, 2011, two defendants under the age of 18 were sued and the other six people attended the hearing as witnesses. As a result of persistent efforts of the women lawyers, these 6 people also joined to the next hearing as defendants.
* A primary school supervisor, a teacher, the owner of the thermal spring facility and his 2 sons under the age of 18 are among the defendants.
* At the sixth hearing on February 17, 2012, the Prosecutor demanded the acquittal of the defendants.
* The case of mass rape was adjudicated at the seventh hearing of the case on April 27, 2012. 8 defendants (6 adults and 2 children) were acquitted.
Women from different cities went to Fethiye by buses in order to follow the hearings of the case and the case has become a symbol of the fight against sexual assault. (Gİ/ÇT)