Prosecutors seek life sentence for defendants in Russian ambassador's killing
The Ankara prosecutor's office on March 5 sought life imprisonment for defendants accused of taking part in the assassination of a former Russian ambassador to Turkey in 2016, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Ambassador 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.
A court in Ankara heard 28 defendants as prosecutors sought multiple aggravated life sentences for eight of them over charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, murder, and acts of terrorism.
The prosecution claimed the FETÖ terror group and "foreign powers" were behind the assassination and they sought to destabilize Turkish-Russian relations and even push the two countries to "the brink of war".
Fetullah Gülen, the terrorist group's fugitive ringleader, is also named among the defendants.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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.