Press Release “The Burak Bektaş Case Must Be Reopened!”

The initiative for the clarification of the murder of Burak B. criticizes prosecutor Horstmann for false testimony and demands the appointment of new investigators.

On Monday, January 11, 2016, the families of Burak Bektaş and Luke Holland, who were both murdered in Berlin-Neukölln, together with their lawyers Ogün Parlayan, Mehmet Daimagüler and Onur Özata, addressed the public with a press conference. The “Initiative for the Clarification of the Murder of Burak” supports the demands made there for a nationwide investigation and the transfer of the case to the Office of the Attorney General.

The initiative also sharply criticizes prosecutor Horstmann and the responsible police departments regarding the investigation so far:

– Dealing with the Operative Case Analysis (OFA)

In a letter to the lawyers dated July 23, 2014, the responsible public prosecutor and head of the investigation in the Burak case, Dieter Horstmann, stated upon request that no operational case analysis was carried out, as the case did not seem “suitable” for this. However, in the part of the files that was only made available to the lawyers later, there is an OFA that was prepared a few months after the crime and thus long before the lawyers’ request. The report mentions a right-wing extremist motive as a possible version of the crime.

Ulrike Schmidt, spokeswoman for the initiative, commented:
We wonder how this false statement by the public prosecutor Horstmann could have come about. Either he simply has no idea what is in the file, or he actively denies the existence of Operative Case Analysis. In both cases it is a scandal beyond comparison, which makes the suitability of the public prosecutor for this case more than questionable..”

In the investigations into the NSU murders, too, an Operative Case Analysis, which formulated a right-wing extremist background to the acts as a thesis, was ignored by the investigating authorities. The handling of the OFA in the Burak case thus not only shows clear parallels to the investigations regarding the NSU murders. It also makes clear that the investigating authorities have not drawn any conclusions from their failure regarding the NSU.
The interim report of the Berlin police of 12.09.2014 on the implementation of the parliamentary recommendations on the “NSU complex” states:

“The Senate shall ensure organizationally that in cases of violent crime which, because of the person of the victim, could have a racially or otherwise politically motivated background, this must be examined in detail and this examination must be documented in a comprehensible manner if witness statements, crime scene evidence and initial investigations do not reveal a sufficiently concrete suspicion of the crime in a different direction.”

This requirement was obviously not taken into account in Burak’s case.

– Refusal to confront Rolf Z.

Several weeks ago, one of Burak’s friends, who had survived the crime with serious injuries, demanded that the Berlin police line him up with the suspect Rolf Z., who had been arrested in the Luke H. case, after it became known that he also appeared in the file on the Burak case. This lineup was rejected by the police on the grounds that in the testimonies in the Burak case, the perpetrator had not worn a beard. The Berlin police repeated this scandalous reasoning to the lawyers as well.

This is not only a slap in the face of the survivors and the relatives of the murdered Burak Bektaş, but also highlights the
Unwillingness of the Berlin investigative authorities.

Ulrike Schmidt, spokeswoman for the initiative, commented:
It is unbearably cynical, with which apparent pretexts the examination of a possible connection of the two murders is blocked on the part of the investigating authorities. And this despite the fact that they always emphasize that they have no starting points whatsoever. The fact that they would ‘turn over every stone’ in the Burak case, as the chief detective in charge, Hübner, likes to claim, is absolutely not apparent here.

The investigation into the Burak case seems to have more or less come to a standstill for quite some time. In the already above mentioned
Interim report of the Berlin police is mentioned as a further consequence:

Ongoing but unsuccessful investigations of outstandingly serious crimes are to be reviewed from scratch again after a certain period of time by experienced investigators not previously involved in the case.”

That is why we support the demands of the Bektaş family for the case to be transferred to the Office of the Attorney General.

Ulrike Schmidt, spokeswoman for the initiative, commented:
We consider the dismissal of the justified criticism of the Bektaş family and their lawyers against the investigating public prosecutor’s office with the words that this criticism is “grossly unfair” (taz, 12.01.2016) as grossly negligent. Prosecutor Horstmann is no longer tenable for this case!


Next dates:
– On Fri, Feb 5, at 10 am, a press conference will be held by the initiative on a new Small Question on the Burak case in the Berlin Interior Committee. The location is yet to be announced.
– Also on Fri, Feb 5, a vigil will be held at 12 noon in front of the Berlin prosecutor’s office building on Turmstr. 91 take place.

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