Malatya murder trials adjourned until April in Turkey

The Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court yesterday adjourned the trial of seven youths accused of murdering three Christians, one of them a German national, in the eastern province of Malatya last year.

Malatya murder trials adjourned until April in Turkey
The court adjourned the case until April 14, 2008 because the lawyers' request to remove the judge had not yet been submitted to the court. During the third hearing, which took place on Feb. 25, lawyers demanded that the hearing be video recorded, a demand the court rejected. Following the rejection, the lawyers asked that the judge be removed, saying the court's impartiality was jeopardized by the denial.
The judge ruled that a criminal complaint must be filed against court clerks who were assigned to the case to submit the request to the Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court but failed to do so in time.

The suspects, standing trial while in custody were identified as E.G. (19), A.Y. (19), H.Ç. (19), S.G. (20) and C.Ö. (20). They were brought to the Malatya courthouse by special security units. Two more suspects, K.K. (18) and M.G. (19), were also being tried but are not in custody.

Suzanne Geske, the wife of Tilman Ekkehart Geske, one of the victims, and Şemse Aydın, the wife of Necati Aydın, another one of the victims, although present at the third hearing, did not attend yesterday's hearing.

The five suspects currently under arrest have been charged with setting up an armed terrorist organization, committing more than one homicide as part of the activities of the terrorist organization, trespassing and aiding and abetting an armed terrorist organization. E.G. is additionally being charged with having masterminded the murders. The prosecutor is seeking three life sentences for each of the five suspects. The other two are facing charges of aiding and abetting an armed terrorist organization.

The murders

Christian Turks Aydın and Uğur Yüksel and Christian German national Geske were tied to their chairs, stabbed and tortured at the Zirve Publishing House in eastern Malatya province before their throats were slit on April 18, 2007. The publishing house they worked for printed Bibles and Christian literature. The murders drew international condemnation.

Today's Zaman

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2008, 12:06