Two men sentenced to jail in high-profile femicide case
An Ankara court on Dec. 4 reached a verdict in the high-profile case of the murder of 23-year-old university student Şule Çet, according to local media reports.
The court has convicted suspect Çağatay Aksu to life sentence and 12 years and six months of imprisonment on charges of “deliberate killing,” “aggravated sexual assault” and “deprivation of liberty.” The other suspect, Berk Akand, received 18 years and nine months of jail time over “being an accessory to murder,” “aggravated sexual assault” and “deprivation of liberty.”
The final hearing of Çet’s femicide took place at the Ankara 31st Heavy Penal Court.
After the verdict, Umur Yıldırım, one of Çet family’s lawyers, said that Aksu received good conduct time with regards to Article 62 of the Turkish Criminal Law. The said article stipulates that “in case of existence of the discretionary matters of mitigation extenuating the punishment in favor of the offender, the offender is sentenced to life imprisonment instead of heavy life imprisonment; or 25 years imprisonment instead of life imprisonment.”
Yıldırım also said that Çet’s lawyers will appeal to the verdict because the aggravated life sentence prosecutors sought turned into life sentence.
During his testimony, Aksu said that he never “laid a hand on” Şule and the incident was disrupted by “fake news propaganda” on social media sites.
“I am being charged with impossible-to-happen things. Everyone is curious about what happened. I never laid a hand on Şule. If I had committed a crime, I would have left the country in 45 days,” he said.
Aksu also said that he and Şule did not have an argument and he did not push her from the 20th floor of a skyscraper.
He had previously claimed that Çet committed suicide by jumping from his office window at 4 a.m., while Akand was in another room “sleeping.”
It had been revealed that Çet had sent an SMS to a friend two hours before her death, saying, “I can’t get out of here. This man doesn’t let me go. He is obsessed with me.”
“There is nothing against me in that file. I want you to read our letters with Berk in prison. I swear on my life that I did not lie. I demand my acquittal,” he said.
Şule was a Gazi University textile design student. She was found dead after being pushed down 66 meters from the 20th floor of a skyscraper in Ankara’s upscale Çankaya district on May 28, 2018.
Aksu was Şule’s boss. He had hired Çet as an assistant and later fired her from his business.
On the day of Çet’s death, Aksu and Akand invited her to dinner to talk about her working situation. Later, they went to Aksu’s office for after-dinner drinks, where the incident took place.
Forensic evidence early on showed that Çet was forced into anal sex before her death. DNA traces were found under nine of her fingernails, as well as bruises on her body, pointing to a struggle. The DNA under two of the fingernails was traced to Akand.
Meanwhile, during his testimony, Akand said he was not even present at the said room. He also demanded his acquittal.
The lawyer of the defendants claimed that the court was “under the pressure of the public.”
After the testimonies, chief judge Mehmet Ali Karaseyfioğlu announced the verdict and the determined sentences for the perpetrators.
The court unanimously accepted the verdict and ruled for the continuation of their arrests.