Dağlıca land mine scandal commander Dirik seeks civilian retrial

July 25, 2012, Wednesday/ 15:25:00/ HABİB GÜLER

Former battalion commander Lt. Col. Onur Dirik, who was sentenced by a military court to prison for causing the death of a senior lieutenant in Dağlıca five years ago, has submitted a petition to Parliament demanding a civilian retrial.

The military court sentenced former battalion commander Dirik, who in 2007 ordered gendarmerie 1st Lt. Çağlar Canbaz to manually defuse a land mine believed to have been laid by terrorists in the Dağlıca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari, to two years, 11 months in prison in June 2010. He was also discharged from the military. Dirik was also accused by the public of failing to prevent the deaths of 12 soldiers in a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attack on a military outpost in Dağlıca in 2007.

Dirik stated in his petition that he wants to stand trial again, not in a military court, but in a civilian court on the grounds that his original trial in 2010 was unfair.

Parliament's Petition Committee has accepted Dirik's petition and has started to examine the laws on retrials.

Dirik further stated in his petition that his prison sentence is the result of an attempt to lay the blame for the outcome of the attack on him alone.

Stating that he requested that the military court hear some witnesses during his trial, Dirik further added that the court refused to hear them. “It is clear that some high-ranking military figures manipulated the judiciary during my trial,” Dirik put forward in his petition.

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