A husband facing a life sentence over the likely homicide of his wife was acquitted against all odds in an unusual case ruled on by Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals yesterday.
Dilek A. was found dead with a shotgun wound in her stomach two years ago at her home in the capital Ankara. The prime suspect was her husband Yusuf A. and indeed, he was found guilty of murder by a court and sentenced to life.
The court in Ankara based the verdict on a string of evidence and circumstances surrounding the woman's death. The couple had often quarreled and the woman fled home when the husband beat her. She eventually returned but was found dead the day she returned home. Her body was lying on the bed and a shotgun was found between her legs. Apparently, she committed suicide and there were no eyewitnesses apart from the husband. The husband said he did not hear the gunshot and was in another room when Dilek A. allegedly killed herself. A report by investigators showed that none of the victims fingerprints were found on the shotgun and the gun was fired from a distance. However, a coroner's report said the woman likely pulled the trigger with her toe, although she was wearing thick socks at the time of her death that made it impossible to pull the trigger, according to the judges. The court eventually sentenced the husband to life in prison. However, the Supreme Court assessing the defendant's appeal ruled for his acquittal on the grounds of in dubio pro reo principle that enables the defendant to be freed of conviction if there is a doubt about his guilt.