Court mistakenly sentences late Kobane fighter to 19-year jail term
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
Serhat Özbekli (2L) sits with other fighters. DHA PhotoA Turkish citizen, who died in Syria’s Kobane last February while fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists, was sentenced to 19 years in jail for previously being involved in the murder of two people.
The court, unaware of the death of 20-year-old Serhat Özbekli, who had been released pending trial, sentenced him to 19 years and eight months in prison.
Adem Fidan, 62, and Rıdvan Koç, 29, had been found dead in the storehouse of their workplace in the Silvan district of southeastern Diyarbakır province in 2011. The Diyarbakır Prosecutor’s Office had launched an investigation into three suspects, Abdurrahman Gülsever, Şeyhmus Emol and Özbekli, demanding a life term for intentional murder.
The trial had begun for the three in Diyarbakır, as Özbekli and Emol pleaded not guilty. The file of fugitive suspect Gülsever however was separated. Meanwhile, the court sentenced Emol to two life terms and ten years of jail and Özbekli to 19 years and eight months in jail.
However, it was later revealed that Özbekli had died last February during a conflict after he crossed the border to fight against ISIL jihadists in Kobane with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as the trial continued.
It was also revealed that a condolence tent had been set up for the dead fighter on Feb. 21. It was announced the court sentenced Özbekli because it was not aware of his death.