Court sentences alleged killer of Russian jet pilot to five years in jail in Turkey’s west
İZMİRA court in the western province of İzmir has sentenced the alleged killer of a Russian jet pilot to five years in jail over “violating the law on firearms” and “keeping a warfare weapon” in a separate case into him.
Alparslan Çelik, the alleged killer of a pilot of the Russian SU-24 jet downed by Turkey on Nov. 24, 2015, was tried over the charges after several weapons were found on him, his house and vehicle.
Both pilots aboard the downed SU-24 jet ejected and parachuted to the ground on the Syrian side of the border. One of them was killed by gun fire from the ground after ejecting from the plane.
After the downing of the jet, Çelik defended the killing of the jet pilot in a video, saying the pilot had dropped bombs on Turkmens.
“That pilot bombed us five minutes [before Turkey downed the Russian jet] and our brothers were killed or wounded by these bombs. There is no place for a person who has bombed civilian Turkmens every day in my conscious,” Çelik had said.
“Reprisal is the most natural right. There is life in reprisal,” he added.
Çelik, as well as 17 other suspects, were being tried in İzmir 27th Criminal Court of First Instance after five automatic rifles, four pistols and two walkie-talkies were found in the searches carried out on them, in their houses and their vehicles on March 31, 2016.
Seven suspects were sentenced to five years in prison each over the aforementioned two charges, including Çelik. In addition, one was sentenced to 1.5 years, while two were given ten months of prison time, and the others were acquitted.
Çelik is currently in jail over charges for another crime.