The refusal to cancel a police officer’s dismissal following an irrevocable acquittal, violates the presumption of innocence
Seven v. Turkey 23.01.2018 (no. 60392/08)
Dismissal of policeman after rape and abuse of power. Criminal courts have irrevocably acquitted him of the charges. Refusal of the Administrative Courts to cancel the dismissal following the irrevocable acquittal decision. Infringement of the presumption of innocence (Article 6 § 2).
Article 6 § 2
The applicant, Hamit Seven, is a Turkish national who was born in 1962 and lives in Ankara (Turkey).
The case concerned his dismissal from the police force after a rape allegation, although he had been cleared of all charges.
In 2002, while working as a chief police officer in Ankara, he was accused of rape and abuse of authority. Disciplinary and criminal proceedings were begun simultaneously. He was acquitted by the Ankara Assize Court in 2005. By that time, however, he had been dismissed from the police force. A 2006 appeal review by the Supreme Administrative Court refused to annul his dismissal.
Relying on Article 6 § 2 (right to presumption of innocence), Mr Seven complained about being dismissed while the criminal proceedings had still been going on and about the administrative courts’ refusal to cancel that decision once he had been cleared of the charges.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
Violation of Article 6 § 2
Just satisfaction: The Court held that the finding of a violation constituted sufficient just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage Mr Seven may have sustained. It further awarded him EUR 2,850 for costs and expenses (echrcaselaw.com editing).