Appeal court increases sentence of director's son who killed cop in car crash

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

An appeal court increased Wednesday the sentence of Rüzgar Çetin, the son of Turkish filmmaker Sinan Çetin, who was handed a jail term of six years and three months for killing a police officer and injuring another in a car crash, but was later set free as a result of Turkey's complex judiciary system.

The regional appeal court in Istanbul unanimously sentenced Çetin to seven years and six months in prison upon the prosecutor's appeal to the earlier ruling. The regional appeal court's decision is open to appeal in Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargıtay).

Çetin defended himself by saying that he was not drunk and was not speeding when the accident took place, and he had been victimized by a public lynching campaign through his portrayal in the media.

Despite the seven years and six months prison sentence, Çetin will only serve 13 months if his sentence is approved. As a statutory decree issued on Aug. 18 rules for the release of convicts sentenced before July 1 if they had served half of their sentence – except for terror crimes – Çetin's 90-month sentence will be deducted to 45 months. He had served eight months in prison, and this period will be deducted from the total sentencing to 37 months. As last 24 months of jail sentences can be carried out under probation, Çetin will only spend 13 months in jail.

Çetin's release from prison with the previous ruling with a ban on travelling abroad had caused a public uproar.

A police officer was killed in the incident and another was injured when Çetin, who was allegedly drunk at the time, crashed his car into a patrol car in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district on Jan. 29, 2016. The incident was captured by a nearby security camera, increasing the public's reaction against Çetin when released by media.

The prosecutor had requested Çetin's imprisonment for up to 22.5 years over culpable negligence resulting in the death and injury of a person. Çetin has spent eight months in prison.

The wife of the police officer who was killed in the crash withdrew the lawsuit against Çetin.
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