Assassin had earlier plan to kill Russian envoy at ambassadors' dinner
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Russian Ambassador Karlov (R) and his killer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş.
An indictment on the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Nov. 23 revealed an earlier attempt of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) to murder the envoy at a dinner with other foreign ambassadors in Ankara.
Andrey Karlov was assassinated at an art gallery in the Turkish capital on Dec. 19, 2016 by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer linked to FETÖ who was shot dead by police during a standoff.
Turkish prosecutors have completed the investigation into the incident on Nov. 23 and sent an indictment to an Ankara court.
Twenty-eight suspects, including FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, were indicted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The indictment emphasized that the murder was committed by FETÖ to confront Moscow and Ankara, ahead of the defeated deadly coup attempt in July 15, 2016, and to create a chaotic environment in Turkey.
It noted that the terror group planned another assassination about six months before the murder.
According to the indictment, Russian envoy Karlov was among the invitees of a June 27, 2016 iftar (fast-breaking dinner) program for ambassadors.
Altıntaş was going to sneak into the premises -- where the ruling Justice and Development Party had scheduled the dinner -- disguised as a security police officer upon the assassination instructions from FETÖ.
The indictment said in order to avoid suspicion, Altıntaş was going to use a collar badge worn by the staff of the Prime Ministry, but the assassination attempt failed as Karlov was abroad on that day.
The FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.