Karaman told DHA, they had no certain opinion on whether the exact moment of Elçi's shooting was intervened in the footages but investigation and data collection being conducted by the police, in a case involving police officers themselves, “casted doubt, right of the bat, on efficacy of the upcoming legal processes”.
The Diyarbakır Bar Commission, including Karaman, has underlined, “the exact shooting moment - lasting 17 seconds - that had killed Tahir Elçi in Diyarbakır on Nov. 28 was not in the two police camera footages” in a statement this week. The Commission had underlined “the possibility of an intervention”.
The police officer, a footage's owner, has testified that “he has crouched down while taking the footage during the most critical time and after having noticed the recording was stopped, he has restarted taking footage” Karaman stressed.
The lawyer added they have noticed a “slight interruption”. “We do not say the footage was cut for sure; we think it casts doubt as the recording stops right at the shooting moment” Karaman said, adding that “the nature of law demands suspecting”.
But what is the importance of this 17-second-long footage?
Diyarbakır Bar lawyer reiterated several reporters have turned their cameras in a bid to display the militants running towards them, and the crime scene and Elçi was “standing two-three meters behind the cameras”.
“Footage shows militants passing near the shooting scene, then we find Elçi's body on the ground. This can be a coincidence; reporters would head for the militants, of course” Karaman said.
On the other hand, “We suspect that Elçi's shooting occurred when the second demonstrator approached Elçi and the row of Four-legged Minaret; the suspect that threw his gun near police officers…” he urged.
Lawyers of the case suspect that “Elçi was shot dead in a short moment in the middle”, with respect to examination of several footages displaying Elçi's position before and after he was shot, Karaman told DHA.
“Thus, we mind the possibility that any footages could include this particular moment and we demand the inspection of a potential intervention over digital data, to be conducted by independent and partial third party institutions, experts” he urged.
According to Mahsuni Karaman, “Elçi's killing marks a different nature, regarding Elçi's reputation, status, identity, human relations and the fact that he was shot following a nationalist delusion” amid Turkey's security tension.
“In this regard, we speak of a possibility that Elçi, a person who should have been under the state protection, was shot by the bullet of the police, men of the state” said Lawyer Karaman.
According to Mahsuni Karaman, footages are of key importance to enlighten the murder.
Karaman reiterated that the bullet, which killed Tahir Elçi was not discovered as “evidences were not collected at the exact shooting scene, due to security concerns raised by the prosecution”. Also, no witnesses have come out for the crowd, a situation indicating a third node in the case, he underlined.
“Regardless of excuses, to not collect evidence is spoliation of evidence by means of omission” he stressed.
Officials have defended collection of evidence was interrupted by “ongoing clashes” in the region, after the incident.
Karaman likened the Tahir Elçi case to the legal procedures that case of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink has faced. Dink was murdered in İstanbul in 2007.Dink was previously prosecuted and convicted of “denigrating Turkishness due to a previous statement”. Accordingly, Elçi was detained after he said the PKK is not a terrorist group on a televised debate, Mahsuni Karaman reiterated. Both have received numerous death threats.
Elçi's killing can “persist for years and assume traits of an unidentified murder” Karaman underlined.
Diyarbakır Bar's Lawyer also urged any potential footage were crucial to solve the case and ensure that Elçi's case do not fade out as an unidentified case.