Deadly ISIL bomb attack suspect threatens families of victims in hearing in Ankara

Deadly ISIL bomb attack suspect threatens families of victims in hearing in Ankara

Deadly ISIL bomb attack suspect threatens families of victims in hearing in Ankara A suspect in a case into a deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) twin suicide bomb attack case has threatened the families of victims during a hearing held in the capital Ankara. 

Metin Akaltın, one of the suspects in the Oct. 10, 2015 ISIL attack case, wagged his finger at the families as a gesture of threat in the third hearing of the case on May 3. 

The hearing into the attack, which claimed a total of 101 lives and wounded dozens of others, began at around 10 a.m. at the Ankara Fourth Heavy Penal Court with the testimonies of the complainants. 

As one of the complainants, Reyhan Urgancı, was speaking, Akaltın started threatening the families of the victims, prompting the complainants’ lawyer İlke Işık to ask the threat to be registered in the hearing records. 

The threat was included in the reports upon Işık’s request. 

In a hearing on May 2, Akaltın also threatened his wife Hatice Akaltın, who is also among the suspects of the case, and her lawyer Oğuz Akman. 

“Don’t answer the questions,” Akaltın told his wife, which resulted in Hatice Akaltın to remain silent in the face of the complainants’ lawyer’s questions. 

Akman, in return, told the court that he is considering to retreat from his duty if she continued to remain silent.

“We accepted defending her because we believed she was innocent. If she is not going to reply, I’m thinking of giving up my duty as a lawyer. She is very devoted to her children. Her children are under the risk of death. We ask precautions to be taken regarding that,” he said. 

Court head Selfet Giray decided that Akaltın was under pressure and ordered the suspects to be escorted outside the courtroom. 

“You better not defend her; retreat from the case,” Metin Akaltın told Akman while he was being escorted outside. 

In the third hearing of the case, complainant Asiye Deniz said they still could not get over the shock of the attack, while another victim who survived with injuries, İsmail Hasta, said he was suffering from insomnia due to the statements he heard at the hearings. 

The organizer of the attack, ISIL militant Halil İbrahim Durgun, was on the run after the attack. Police received information that Durgun was hiding in a house in the southeastern province of Gaziantep with his wife Esin Durgun Altuğ and the Akaltın couple. 

An operation was launched on Nov. 14, 2015, during which Durgun blew himself up while the three others were apprehended. 

Hatice Akaltın was released to be tried without arrest after being in jail for a month, but was rearrested 2.5 months later over being an ISIL member. 

The Ankara bombing on Oct. 10, 2015, was the deadliest terror attack carried out in the country by the jihadist group, killing 103 people, including the two suicide bombers. Some 391 others were wounded.

The attack occurred when the suicide bombers linked to ISIL targeted NGOs and supporters of left-wing parties holding a peace rally outside the capital’s main train station.