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(updated 2/2/01)

German Dog Laws Update

Public Prosecutor appeals against killer dog sentence

THE PUBLIC Prosecutor in Hamburg has made it clear that he is not content with the three and a half years prison sentence handed down to Ibrahim Kulunc, the owner of a Pit Bull Terrier which killed six year old Turkish boy Volkan Kaja in June last year.

Kulunc, 24, and his girlfriend Silja Wilms, 19 were both charged with manslaughter by Grievous Bodily Harm. Kulunc, who pleaded not guilty, was convicted of manslaughter, whilst Wilms pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter and was sentenced to a suspended sentence of one year.

The accused had caused a lot of bad feeling by refusing to apologise to the parents of the dead boy. His girlfriend however had asked the parents’ forgiveness on the first day of the trial.

The main point for the judge to consider was whether Kulunc could have foreseen that his dog was liable to attack or not.

The trial judge ruled that Kulunc could not have foreseen the actions of his dog and that incident could not, therefore, be premeditated.

A spokesman for the courts confirmed last week that the prosecution had appealed against the judgement made in January 17th.

The Public Prosecutor had sought an eight and a half year sentence for for Kulunc. Kali Kaja, the father of the victim had called the judgement too lenient after it had been proclaimed.