Turkey’s Soma mine trial adjourned

Trial concerning disastrous Soma mine incident adjourned due to defendants not attending

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The much anticipated trial in Soma, Turkey, which began Monday, of those accused of responsibility for the tragic Soma mine disaster has been adjourned until Wednesday.

The decision to adjourn the trial came after the plaintiff’s attorneys requested that the eight defendants physically appear at Manisa’s Akhisar High Criminal Court,the city where the disaster happened.
For security reasons the judge had ruled it permissible for the eight defendants in custody in Izmir to appear via a video link.

However, the attorneys refused this decision and asked for the defendants to attend the trial, as appearing via a video link is against the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and criminal law procedure.

On 13 May 2014, Turkey experienced its most fatal and tragic mining incident. The incident was caused by an explosion and resulted in the mine shafts being filled with carbon monoxide gas, which in turn caused the deaths of 301 miners and left 486 injured.

Forty five people were identified as being responsible for the fatal incident, and eight of the defendants are currently in custody.

Among the defendants is the CEO of Soma Holding, the contractor company, Can Gürkan and general manager, Ramazan Doğru.

The two are charged with murder and they are expected to be sentenced to 20-25 years for each victim.

Twelve defendants are accused of causing injuries and multiple deaths through negligence and the remaining twenty-five are expected to face charges of “conscious negligence.”

The trial has been adjourned for Wednesday 15 April with the expectation of the defendants to appear at that date.

Political party figures and national and international media outlets also attended the adjourned trial in Akhisar.