Alleged killer of Russian jet pilot to stay in jail until mid-2017 on other charges
İZMIR – Anadolu AgencyAlparslan Çelik, the alleged killer of a pilot of the Russian SU-24 jet downed by Turkey last November, will not be discharged from prison until mid-2017 due to another sentence that he is subject to.
An İzmir court had issued a decision on June 27 to release Çelik pending trial.
Çelik and 16 others were detained by police in a restaurant on March 31 in the Karabağlar district of İzmir, after an unidentified person notified police about people with guns in the restaurant.
A court charged Çelik on April 3 with violating a gun law. He and the five other people arrested on the same charges in the same case were later released pending trial on June 27.
However, Çelik will not be discharged from prison until June 8, 2017, on the grounds that he was already sentenced to two-and-a-half-years in prison and ordered to pay 2,000 Turkish Liras in compensation in another case on charges of “forged money.”
The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s terror and organizational crimes bureau recently ruled for a nonsuit for Çelik over “grievous provocation in the killing of the Russian pilot after evaluating reports of his testimony, interviews in the media and video footage.” It reversed its decision on June 24, citing new evidence on the incident.
Two Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian-made SU-24 jet on Nov. 24, 2015, near the Syrian border after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace. Relations between Turkey and Russia have been tense since the downing of the jet, though signs of improvement have in recent days followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent “apology letter” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.