Let me pay for your dead pet, cat-torturing student says in first hearing
ESKİŞEHİRA Turkish university student who triggered a public outcry with a spine-chilling video showing him torturing a cat to death earlier this year has offered to pay all the owners’ expenses related to the cat, claiming that he was drunk at time of the incident.
“I had drunk alcohol. I got angry when I saw that the cat had dirtied my bed. I don’t remember when I grabbed the knife and cut her stomach,” Mustafa Can Aksoy said in his testimony, read at the first hearing of his trial in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir on July 16.
“I would like to pay for all the owners’ expenses related to the cat,” added Aksoy, a 20-year-old student at Eskişehir University.
The owners of a cafe in Eskişehir had temporarily trusted Aksoy with the cat, named İletki (Quadrant), just two days before the incident in September 2013. A video recorded by Aksoy and showing him torturing the cat went viral on Turkish social media in February 2014.
The outrage led to widespread calls for heavier sentences for animal abusers. Aksoy, however, is being tried on charges of “damaging property,” with prosecutors demanding that he be jailed for up to three years. Aksoy’s offer to pay for indemnities is considered related to this charge, which carries a heavier sentence than the current Turkish legislation against animal abuse.
“We believe that the slaughtered cat was actually lucky, as she had an owner. Our laws don’t stipulate any sanctions against those who abuse an animal without an owner. This is a tragicomic situation,” Eskişehir Bar Union’s Animal Rights Commission head Buket Ünlü Hatip said.
The three women who owned the cat had filed the complaint against Aksoy, claiming material and moral indemnities. “The damage we suffered cannot be compensated. He should be given the maximum sentence,” one of them reportedly said.
The Eskişehir 4th Criminal Court of First Instance has adjourned the trial until Nov. 11 for the hearing of witness testimonies.