New photos of Turkish assassin of Russian ambassador revealed

New photos of Turkish assassin of Russian ambassador revealed

Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA

New photos showing Turkish policeman Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş hours before he killed Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, have been revealed. 

Karlov was assassinated at an Ankara art gallery on Dec. 19, 2016 by Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer believed to be linked to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Altıntaş was shot dead by police during a standoff.

Eight people were arrested as suspected accomplices of Altıntaş, including former employers of the Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA).

Hürriyet newspaper was given access to the criminal file of the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, which continues the investigation into the murder. A series of photos in the file shows Altıntaş some 10 hours before the assassination.

Altıntaş is seen in a series of photos at a hospital in Ankara on the morning of Dec. 19, 2016. In another set, he is seen leaving the hospital with a medical report in his hand, returning to his home.

According to a doctor who testified to the police, Altıntaş was diagnosed with diarrhoea and received a report which allows him to skip work for one day as a public servant. The doctor said he displayed symptoms of illness. ”He could have had diarrhoea due to stress before the murder or he could have taken medication to trigger it,” she added.

He left his home in the afternoon and went to a hotel where he booked a room to prepare and wait for the assassination, photos taken from security camera footage also show. The last photos show him leaving the hotel to go to Ankara Modern Arts Center where he would kill Karlov at 7:05 p.m.

Turkish officials shared the latest findings in the investigation with a Russian judiciary delegation that visited Ankara last week.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen are widely believed to have orchestrated the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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