Chinese expert fails to crack phone of assassin of Russian Ambassador Karlov
Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA
A foreign cryptography expert hired by the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office has reportedly failed to crack the phone used by the assassin of the late Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, who was killed in Ankara in December 2016.
The expert, a Chinese national living in the United Kingdom, worked on Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş’s phone for 72 hours in a special room in the Ankara courthouse as part of Public Prosecutor Adem Akıncı’s investigation.
Despite failing to crack the installed double encryption programs, the expert was reportedly paid $20,000 as agreed.
The prosecutor was previously able to access Altıntaş’s e-mails and messages as experts were able to break into his iCloud account, but his contacts via applications such as FaceTime could not be identified.
Karlov was killed on Dec. 19, 2016 while delivering a speech at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in Ankara’s central Çankaya district. Altıntaş was killed in a subsequent shootout with police in the gallery.
An official Turkish investigation has linked Altıntaş to the Gülen movement, referred to by the authorities as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which is accused of orchestrating the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Five people, including three police officers, have been arrested in the probe into Karlov’s killing.