The controversial Pamukova train disaster case will be closed today, two weeks after the statute of limitations expired.
A train en route from İstanbul to Ankara derailed on July 22, 2004, near the town of Pamukova, killing 41 passengers and injuring 89 others. A criminal case was filed against the train engineers and the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) at the Sakarya 2nd High Criminal Court in 2004.
During a hearing in September 2010, the court found operators Fikret Karabulut and Recep Sönmez at fault in the accident, citing an expert opinion stating that the train was travelling nearly 40 kilometers per hour faster than it should have been. The expert opinion also found the TCDD to be guilty of not carrying out rail repairs.
During another hearing at the Sakarya 2nd High Criminal Court on Dec. 2, 2011, attorneys for the TCDD and defense attorneys demanded a postponement of the trial as a TCDD lawyer was not present.
The court ruled that the trial was to be postponed until today, two weeks after the statute of limitations for accidents resulting in fatalities expired. The statute requires that cases be concluded within seven-and-a-half years of the date of the incident.
According to a new regulation regarding the statute of limitations that went into force in 2005, cases involving fatal accidents must be concluded within 15 years. But because the Pamukova derailment took place before the new law went into effect, the case followed the old statute stipulating seven-and-a-half years.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 07 Şubat 2012, 11:41