Istanbul court acquits woman who killed abusive father-in-law

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An Istanbul court has acquitted the release of a woman that killed her father-in-law after he allegedly sexually harassed her while her husband was in prison.An Istanbul court has ordered the release of a woman that killed her father-in-law after he allegedly sexually harassed her while her husband was in prison.

The court ruled at the first hearing of the case that she acted in self-defense.

Esma Yeşilbaş, 35, shot her father-in-law Ahmet Yeşilbaş dead in February 2017.

The prosecutor demanded up to 18 years in prison for Esma Yeşilbaş for committing voluntary manslaughter under unjust provocation.

The woman’s lawyer argued that Yeşilbaş was subjected to constant harassment and even rape during her stay at the father-in-law’s house. At that time she had a nine-month-old baby, the lawyer added.

According to the lawyer, the victim’s sister-in-law told similar stories about harassment.

“The father-in-law thought that the victim would not dare reveal his acts because she was financially dependent, which is why she had to live at his place,” the lawyer said.

When a judge at the trial asked why she did not tell what happened to her husband, Yeşilbaş responded that the father-in-law threatened to hurt her baby and not to tell anyone.

“I was terrified. That is why I did not tell anyone. If my husband had known, he would have killed him,” she said.

[HH] Acting in self-defense

The court ruled that the father-in-law’s acts of sexual harassments and sexual assaults against the victim were unremitting and that the victim was helpless under the burden of moral values and her family commitments.

The court argued that the father-in-law would have continued his abusive behavior, and given those circumstances there could not have been any other justifiable act of self-defense.

The court thus decided for the release of the woman by a majority vote.

However, Judge Zeynep Hatun Sarıçam, a female member of court board, opposed to the ruling.

Sarıçam argued that the sexual assault and defense did not take place simultaneously. The defendant could have filed a complaint to law enforcement immediately after the assault, Sarıçam suggested.

Sarıçam argued that Yeşilbaş committed this act under severe unjust provocation thus she must be punished accordingly.

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