Tags: EU | Turkey | Russia | Assassination

Turkey: 28 on Trial over Russian Ambassador's Slaying

Turkey: 28 on Trial over Russian Ambassador's Slaying

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 11:37 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The trial of 28 people accused of roles in the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey opened Tuesday in Ankara, among them a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey blames for a failed coup the same year.

An off-duty police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, fatally shot Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov at a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital on Dec. 19, 2016. Other officers later shot and killed the gunman at the scene.

Turkish prosecutors concluded that a network led by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind Karlov's slaying and the attack was meant to derail warming ties between Turkey and Russia.

The charges include "violating the constitutional order," ''membership in a terror organization" and "premeditated murder with the intention of causing terror."

Prosecutors are seeking life prison sentences for some of the defendants and maximum 15-year terms for others.

Gulen, who has lived in the United States since 1999, has denied involvement in the coup and the Russian diplomat's assassination.

Fourteen of the defendants appeared in court on Tuesday, while four others were connected to the courtroom by a video link from separate prisons. Gulen and nine others are being tried in absentia.

Two defendants — both former police officers who knew the assassin from the police academy— denied having links to Gulen.

A court in April issued arrest warrants for Gulen and seven other people in connection with the killing. Turkey is seeking Gulen's extradition from the United States.

Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici won the 2017 World Press Photo competition for his image of the gun-wielding policeman standing over the body of the Russian ambassador immediately after he shot Karlov.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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The trial of 28 people accused of roles in the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey opened Tuesday in Ankara, among them a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey blames for a failed coup the same year.An off-duty police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, fatally shot...
EU,Turkey,Russia,Assassination
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2019-37-08
Tuesday, 08 January 2019 11:37 AM
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