Nine life sentences demanded for ISIL suspects in Turkey
NİĞDE – Doğan News AgencyA prosecutor has demanded nine aggravated life sentences, amounting to hundreds of years in prison, for suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who staged an attack in the Ulukışla district of the Central Anatolian province of Niğde in 2014.
The prosecutor also sought the acquittal of four other suspects in the hearing at the Niğde Heavy Penal Court on May 11.
The attack in March 2014, which is considered the first attack staged by ISIL in Turkey, left three people dead, including a police officer, a sergeant and a civilian, and wounded five others. Four people are being tried under arrest and five are being tried without arrest.
Four aggravated life sentences amounting to 280 years and six months in jail are sought for arrested suspect Benjamin Xu, four aggravated life sentences amounting to 285 years in prison are sought for arrested suspect Chendrim Ramadani, and one aggravated life sentence amounting to 258 years in jail is sought for arrested suspect Mohammad Zakiri.
The trial has been adjourned to June 15.
The family members of the killed police officer and sergeant were present at the hearing. The four arrested suspects were not brought to the courtroom, as they took part in the trial via the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS).
“Do you want to come to the courtroom in Niğde?” the chief judge asked the suspects, to which three of the arrested suspects remained silent. The fourth suspect, Fuad Mövsümöv, said he did not have a problem participating in the hearing via teleconference.
The charges against Ramadani, a Swiss national who was first reported as being from Kosovo, and Xu, a German citizen, include killing a public official, killing with the purpose of hiding a crime, and attempting to remove, change or avoid the constitutional order.
The prosecutor stated that Zakiri, a Macedonian, was not directly involved in the killings, so charged him only with attempting to remove, change or avoid the constitutional order.
Up to 22 years and 6 months in jail is demanded for Mövsümöv, an Azerbaijani, for being a member of a terrorist organization and forging official documents. Fifteen years in prison are demanded for one of the suspects being tried without arrest, Mehmet Aşkar, for being a member of an armed organization.
Denying the charges, Mövsümöv said at the hearing that he has no connection to the other suspects.
“I want the freedom that Allah gave me back,” he said.
A gun and a communications device thought to belong to the suspects was found by locals who were out picking mushrooms in Ulukışla on May 8.