Prosecutor seeks ‘aggravated life sentence’ for murder suspect of US tourist Sierra
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Hürriyet photoThe Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office has requested a sentence of aggravated life imprisonment for the suspected murderer of U.S. tourist Sarai Sierra, according to an indictment that was completed today.
Ziya T., the sole suspect in the investigation that has been ongoing for five months, was accused of “qualified murder,” “qualified robbery,” and “sexual assault” in the indictment.
He killed Sarai Sierra after failing to assault her sexually, the indictment read.
An aggravated life sentence was proposed by the prosecutor for the murder accusation, while other accusations require a sentence of from two and three to seven years.
Ziya T. was captured March 17 while crossing into Turkey from Syria in the southern province of Hatay, one-and-a-half months after Sierra's killing.
He confessed the murder during questioning at the Istanbul Courthouse and was then arrested.
“I lost myself. I don’t even remember the incident that much – I had sniffed too much glue,” Ziya T. said in video footage that appeared in the media showing him confessing the incident. “When I came in the morning, I probably hit her with a heavy object in the head.”
“When she was in front of me I tried to kiss her; she resisted me, and a scuffle broke out between us. She hit me with her mobile phone and blood began pouring from my nose, going everywhere. I got so angry I hit her with all the strength I had,” Ziya T. reportedly said in his plea.
Sierra, who left the United States for the first time in her life on Jan. 7 to take pictures in Istanbul, went missing in the city on Jan. 21. Officials found her dead body on Feb. 2.