Prosecutor’s office rules for nonsuit for alleged killer of Russian jet pilot
İZMİR – Anadolu AgencyThe prosecutor’s office in the Aegean province of İzmir has ruled for a nonsuit for Alparslan Çelik, the alleged killer of a Turkey-downed Russian Su-24 jet pilot, who has been under arrest for 37 days for violating a gun law.
The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s terror and organizational crimes bureau ruled for a decision of non-prosecution for Çelik over “grievous provocation in the killing of the Russian pilot after evaluating reports of his testimony, interviews in the media and video footage.”
According to the decision, a suggestion to hold the pilot captive was heard in video footage, while Çelik said he uttered those words to men fighting alongside him and urged them to cease fire.
In his testimony, Çelik said he shouted to hold the Russian pilot captive, as it would be right. However, he added the fire did not immediately cease since the frontline was broad and it had been bombed before the shooting of the pilot.
It also added that Çelik bore responsibility for the incident as a commander giving psychological motivation to his troops.
A local court ruled for the arrest of Çelik on April 3 for violating a gun law following his detainment in İzmir on March 30.
Çelik later claimed the Russian pilot could have been killed by another group fighting alongside the Turkmens in Syria and he “definitely” didn’t shoot the pilot.
Both pilots aboard the Su-24 jet downed by Turkey in November 2015 ejected and parachuted to the ground on the Syrian side of the border. One of them was killed by gunfire from the ground after ejecting from the plane.
Turkey says the Russian jet strayed into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings, while Moscow insists it did not cross over from Syria and accuses Ankara of a planned provocation.