Indictment ready for Russian Ambassador Karlov assassination
In the indictment, United States-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen is presented as the prime suspect. Şerif Ali Tekalan and Emre Uslu included in the indictment among 28 suspects and nine detained.
Karlov was assassinated at an art gallery in Ankara on Dec. 19, 2016 by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer.
The indictment accuses suspects of “violating the constitution” and homicide and suggested that the assassination was an act of FETÖ, which aims to put Turkey in a difficult situation in the international arena and harm its bilateral relations with Russia.
In January, Şahin Söğüt, a former civil servant from Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) was detained on charges of association in plotting manslaughter.
The indictment claimed Söğüt gave the order for Karlov’s assassination, who is accused of clearing e-mails from Altıntaş, the attacker. The evidence from a Historical Traffic Search (HTS) report of Söğüt’s mobile phone determined he was detected close to Altıntaş’s house in the Keçiören district on Dec. 9, 2016. A few minutes before the HTS signal from Söğüt in the neighborhood, Altıntaş did online research about Karlov, according to the indictment.
The indictment prepared by prosecutor Adem Akıncı has been submitted for the approval of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. If the office approves, the case will be sent to court.
The investigation discovered Altıntaş had links to what authorities labelled as FETÖ, headed by Fethullah Gülen, who is widely believed to be behind the 2016 coup attempt.
Nine people were arrested over Karlov’s assassination, including four police officers, Guru Media Broadcast Group Chairman Hayreddin Aydınbaş and Mustafa Timur Özkan, who organized the art exhibit.
In April, a former Turkish civil servant was arrested, while prosecutors issued detention warrants for eight people, including Gülen, over suspected links to the assassination.
The civil servant was found to be a user of ByLock, an encrypted mobile phone application used by FETÖ members to communicate during and after the 2016 coup attempt. He was reportedly responsible for deleting Altıntaş’s e-mails and for conveying the network’s instructions to him and organizing the assassination.