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Turkish murderer of English fans caught after 10 years on run

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency | 11/23/2010 12:00:00 AM | ALİ AKSOYER

A Turkish football hooligan partly responsible for the killing of two English fans before a UEFA Cup match in 2000 has been apprehended after eluding capture for 10 years.

A Turkish football hooligan partly responsible for the killing of two English fans in a fight before a Galatasaray-Leeds United UEFA Cup match in 2000 has been apprehended after eluding capture for 10 years.

Police apprehended Süleyman Gökhan Güven, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murders, as the convicted fugitive greeted his wife at a safe house Monday night.

Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus died from stab wounds sustained in Taksim ahead of the cup tie’s first leg in Istanbul on April 6, 2000. Five of the 16 people detained after the fight, including Güven, were sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison on Oct. 26 of that year.

Güven, however, fled after the ruling was finalized, and police called off their manhunt after two months of failing to locate him. Law enforcement officers examined all of Güven’s possible contacts at that time, but the suspect contacted none of them and his mobile phone number was also abandoned. Police continued to investigate Güven’s whereabouts over the next decade, but failed to uncover enough traces of him to catch him.

Police began tracking Güven’s wife after receiving a tip that he was hiding at a friend’s house. Police teams waited for three days in front of the house and were put on full alert Monday afternoon at around 3 p.m., as Güven’s wife was expected to come to visit her husband. Response teams eventually apprehended Güven at 6 p.m. Monday night as he greeted his wife.

Of those convicted of involvement in the murder of Speight and Loftus, Ali Baydar, Ali Ümit Demir and Süleyman Aydın were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison each, Yılmaz Tutuş was received five years while Güven received 10 years.

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