Four riot police officers have given their testimonies in the investigation regarding the killing of Berkin Elvan, who died March 11 after spending nine months in a coma due to the impact of a teargas canister during the Gezi Park protests last June, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The development came a day after Elvan's funeral, as the lack of effective investigation on the police action that caused the 15-year-old's death had been strongly criticized by his family and human rights groups.
All of the police officers interrogated claimed that they were not present in the area of Istanbul's sensitive Okmeydanı neighborhood, where Elvan was killed as he went to buy bread during the crackdown, Doğan News Agency reported.
One of the officers, identified only as H.P., told investigators that his real profession was teaching and he did not use teargas guns. A second officer, U.Y., said he was instructed to hold shields and not fire teargas. A third claimed to not to have used his teargas gun on the day Elvan died, while the fourth officer said he was not in the Okmeydanı neighborhood at all.
Elvan's battle for life had gripped the whole country and his tragic passing away sent thousands of people back onto the streets, sparking fresh anti-government protests denouncing the violence used by the police.