Haydarpaşa (Istanbul)-Many people were killed and many others were injured when a passenger train operating to Ankara derailed near Pamukova, Sakarya, in 2004. Among the decedents was the applicant’s wife at the time, H.T. with H.T.nin’s brother A.T. and A.T.children of N.T. with M.T. there are also some examples.
An investigation has been initiated by the Sakarya Public Prosecutor’s Office (Public Prosecutor’s Office) regarding the incident, and an expert report has been received regarding the cause of the incident and the status of the defect. The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Turkey has decided that there is no authority in the investigation conducted by the General Directorate of State Railways of the Republic of Turkey (TCDD) and has sent the investigation document to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The outcome of this investigation has not been determined.
On the other hand, the Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a public case against the machinists (first and second machinist) and the train conductor in the Heavy Criminal Court for the alleged cause of the accident on the railway. As a result of the trial, a conviction was issued against the machinists and an acquittal was issued against the train conductor.
Upon the appeal of the verdict by the parties, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction decision made against the defendants. At the trial held after the decision to overturn, it was decided to drop the cases. Upon appeal of this decision, the verdict was overturned, the first machinist was sentenced to imprisonment at the trial, and the sentence of the second machinist was postponed.
The decision appealed by the parties was overturned by the Supreme Court. In accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn, the High Criminal Court decided to punish the machinists with a judicial fine and divided the judicial fines into installments and postponed them. After the appeal of the decision by the parties, the Supreme Court of Cassation decided to drop the public lawsuits against the defendants on the grounds that the trial statute of limitations had expired.
The applicant claimed that the right to life had been violated due to the ineffectiveness of the criminal proceedings conducted against some public officials, referring to the fact that a passenger train derailed and caused the death of many people and the injury of many others.
Evaluation of the Court
Article 17 of the Constitution. installs itself under the aspect item of the positive procedural obligations, the state death all aspects of each event to reveal the suspect, identify responsible persons and, when necessary, shall conduct an independent investigation, which allows these people to be punished.
However, the effective investigation obligation is not a conclusion obligation, but an obligation to use appropriate tools. Article 17 of the Constitution. the article does not give applicants the right to prosecute or punish third parties for a crime, nor does it burden the state with the task of concluding all trials with a conviction.
When the processes carried out in the trial process and the applicant’s claims are evaluated together, the issue that should be examined in the application is whether the trial is carried out with reasonable speed and care.
Burcu Demirkaya and Yucel Demirkaya (B. No: 2015/1232, 30/10/2018) It was stated in the application that the determination of the statements of the relatives of the deceased and the injured due to the excess of those killed and injured in the incident that occurred was understandable that it took a long time, but no element in the trial justified the inability to conclude the trial, and it was decided that the procedural dimension of the right to life was violated due to the fact that the trial was not conducted with reasonable speed. After the date of the aforementioned decision, the trial lasted another 10 months and 25 days, and ultimately the public case against the defendants was subject to a statute of limitations. The reason why the case was dropped due to the statute of limitations is that the case was left pending when the contents of the proceedings and the overturning decisions made in the whole trial were taken into consideration. In this regard, it cannot be said that the trial subject to the application was conducted with reasonable care and speed.
The Constitutional Court on the grounds described in H.T. he decided that the procedural dimension of the right to life had been violated in the application related to.