Turkish soldier sentenced to 3 years and 4 months for killing toddler
A soldier who fatally shot an 18-month-old toddler with a gas canister in Turkey was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported.
The toddler named Mehmet Uytun was sitting on his mother's lap in the balcony of their house on 9 October 2009 in the Kurdish-majority city of Cizre when he was hit on the head with a gas canister shot by a soldier outside the house.
Army sergeant Hakan Alkan was indicted on charge of "causing death by negligence."
The final hearing in the case was held on Thursday in Cizre. The hearing was attended by Mehmet Uytun's father, Diyarbakir branch chair of Human Rights Association (IHD) Ercan Yilmaz and several lawyers representing the victim's family. Hakan Alkan did not attend and his lawyer was connected to the court room via video link.
The family's lawyer Jiyan Ormanli objected to the indictment, saying there is sufficient evidence to hold the defendant accountable for deliberate killing.
The court decided that Hakan Alkan committed the offense of causing death by negligence, that "he acted imprudently and without caution," and sentenced him first to four years in prison. It then reduced the term to three years and four months on grounds that "he displayed a positive behavior in the course of the trial."