2nd probe into Nigerian's death at hands of Turkish police
An inspector from the Interior Ministry and a chief police inspector will be looking into the death of Nigerian national Festus Okey, who was shot dead in an interrogation room at the Beyoğlu Police Station, a statement from the İstanbul Police Department
A public prosecutor is already investigating the case; however, the new probe comes in the wake of coverage in the press last week questioning the police silence on the shooting. According to police reports Okey was detained on Aug. 20, when the police stopped two individuals in İstanbul's Taksim district, demanding to see their identification. The foreign national accompanying Okey, identified as M.O., refused to show the police his ID, while the police found cocaine in Okey's pockets. The two individuals were the taken into custody at the Beyoğlu Police Station. The police then discovered 13 more small bags of cocaine hidden inside Okey's undergarments. Okey, who panicked following the search, grabbed police officer Cengiz Y.'s gun. Okey was injured by a stray a bullet that went into his shoulder when the gun was accidentally fired during the wrangle that took place between the two. Okey died at the Taksim Emergency Hospital, where he was rushed for medical attention.
The statement released by the İstanbul Police Department noted that the forensic report supported the police force's version of the story, as no gunshot powder was found on the hands of Cengiz Y. There was no surveillance camera in the interrogation room to capture the altercation between the two.
Earlier last week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had demanded information from Turkish authorities on Okey's death.
Today's Zaman Last Mod: 10 Eylül 2007, 12:54