Anyone who intentionally inflicts injury or harm on another resulting in a permanent disability is punishable by imprisonment for three to five years. However, if the injury or harm is premeditated, planned, or targeted, the punishment will be extended to imprisonment for three to ten years. The maximum penalty is doubled if the crime is committed for terrorist purposes.
The term "permanent disability" refers to a condition that has a lasting and incurable nature. If the disability can improve or heal through surgery, it is not considered a permanent disability.
To convict the perpetrator, it is sufficient to prove that they deliberately caused the injury that led to the disability, even if they did not intend to cause the disability itself.
The law does not require a specific percentage of loss to establish the presence of a permanent disability. It is enough to prove that the functional benefit of the affected body part has been permanently lost, regardless of the degree of this loss.
Referring to one of the cases, the public prosecution accused (... ) of intentionally causing injuries to the victim, as indicated in the medical report, resulting in a permanent disability that cannot be cured. Consequently, the prosecution sought punishment under Article 240/1 of the Penal Code.
The opinion of the chief forensic experts in their report concluded that the disability could potentially improve or heal through precise eye surgery.
During the trial, the defendant's defense argued that the incident should be considered a misdemeanor because the disability was not permanent, relying on the report's suggestion that surgery could potentially cure the disability.
The court, in the presence of the defense, asked the victim if they would agree to undergo the surgery, but the victim refused and expressed fear of the risks involved.
Despite the victim's refusal, the court classified the incident as a misdemeanor based on the possibility of the disability being treatable through surgery for the victim.
An appeal was filed against the verdict, contending that the court failed to consider the impact of the victim's unwillingness to undergo the surgery when determining the classification of the incident.
Upon review, the Court of Cassation ruled to overturn the appealed verdict, stating that although the disability resulting from the injury could potentially improve through surgery, the victim cannot be compelled to undergo the procedure if they fear endangering their life. Consequently, if the court classifies the incident as a misdemeanor based solely on the treatability of the disability through surgery without considering the victim's refusal due to fear of risking their life, the judgment becomes deficient and must be overturned.
Originally published 31 July 2023
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