World Bulletin/News Desk
A group of 13 Turks were indicted for attacking two U.S. sailors in November, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Office announced Wednesday.
Twelve of the suspects, who are all members of the nationalist Turkish Youth Union group, were initially charged with “insult,” “inflicting injury,” and “violation of the protest and rally law.”
These charges were made after a video appeared on the Internet on Nov. 12, showing the men assault two U.S. sailors by grabbing them and pulling sacks over their heads.
All 12 were taken into custody and released the following day as the investigation was still ongoing. Later on, the investigation found that another man was also involved in the attack.
The five-page indictment charges the 13 men with “insult,” “deliberate injury,” "property damage" and “violation of the protest and rally law,” demanding sentences ranging from one year and eight months to ten years and six months in prison.
Prepared by Adem Meral, a prosecutor with the Terrorism and Organized Crime Bureau, the indictment also includes the testimonies of the sailors who filed a complaint with the police following the incident.
The indictment was submitted to a criminal court in Istanbul, which must accept or reject it within 15 days.
The American sailors, identified as Marc A. and Henry F., were assigned to the U.S. Navy's destroyer USS Ross, which anchored in Istanbul as part of planned visit.
They were on their shore leave and visiting the city without their uniforms when they were attacked and then chased amid chants of "Yankees go home."
The attack drew condemnation from both the U.S. and Turkey.
“We condemn this disrespectful act, which is in no way tolerable," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic has said.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington was “deeply troubled by the assault.”
The Turkish Youth Union on its website calls itself an anti-imperialist and nationalist group.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Aralık 2014, 23:40