Police officer receives shorter sentence in retrial of Gezi protest death case

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A Turkish court on Monday handed down a lesser sentence than was ordered in previous proceedings in the retrial of a police officer who killed Gezi Park protester Abdullah Cömert in 2013, Turkish media outlets reported.

Convicted police officer Ahmet Kuş received a sentence of six years, 10 months and 15 days’ imprisonment in his retrial after an appeals court overturned a previous verdict against the police officer.

The young protester was killed in Hatay province on June 3, 2013 when he was hit by a tear gas cannister during police intervention in a demonstration. The police officer defended himself in a Balıkesir court, saying he did not intend to kill anyone.

Security camera footage shows that the tear gas was shot by officer Kuş, who initially received 13 years in prison for murder with possible intent. However, the appeals court overturned the local court’s verdict and ordered a retrial.

Several protesters were killed during the Gezi Park protests in the summer of 2013 as a result excessive use of force. The protest, which started as a reaction to the demolition of a green space in İstanbul, expanded across the country to protest overall frustration with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

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