Russian officials to examine phone belonging to envoy’s assassin
AA photoRussian officials will examine the phone of Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who killed Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov late on Dec. 19, as part of a joint investigation between Russian and Turkish officials regarding the assassination of the envoy.
Investigators have said they will attempt to crack codes that were found on Altıntaş’s phone in an attempt to determine Altıntaş’s connections.
Turkish officials are working on the passwords, while Russian officials will also provide technical support in the process, daily Habertürk reported Dec. 21.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has been examining speculation that Altıntaş received insider information from Russian Embassy officials. Russian officials are also investigating whether a “mole” in the embassy was involved in the planning of the assassination.
A total of 200 invitations were published for the exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, where the assassination was carried out.
Altıntaş obtained a medical report early on Dec. 19, saying he was suffering from a stomach ache. Previous media reports stated that he also took a medical report immediately after the July 15 failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
The doctor who provided the report to Altıntaş on Dec. 19 provided testimony after being detained. The doctor’s brother-in-law, who was a police chief, was reportedly removed from his post in the investigation into FETÖ following the coup attempt.
Altıntaş submitted the report and went to his house in the Keçiören district of Ankara, where he was living with a lawyer, identified only by the initials of S.Ö. He then took his suit and headed to a hotel near the arts center.
Altıntaş was reportedly wearing a guard police badge during the assassination.
Turkish authorities have also released six relatives of Altıntaş who were detained immediately after the assassination. Altıntaş’s mother, father, sister, two uncles and aunt-in-law were released on Dec. 22. Six people are still in custody.
Altıntaş shot Karlov while the latter was making a speech at the photography exhibition.