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Dec 07 2018

Turkish court accepts indictment for Russian ambassador assassination

 

A Turkish court accepted a prosecution indictment concerning the assassination of  Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey , who was shot dead at the opening of an art exhibition in Ankara on Dec. 19, 2016, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor demanded prison sentences for 28 suspects, including Fethullah Gülen, the leader of an Islamic movement blamed for a failed coup attempt in 2016. 

Karlov was killed by police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who first shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots at the ambassador, video footage at the time showed.

“Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria. Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security,” the police officer shouted in Turkish as he shot Karlov. 

The prosecutors said in the indictment that Altıntaş was ordered by the Gülen movement to assassinate Karlov six months earlier, during a Ramadan banquet organised by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to foreign ambassadors at the party’s headquarters. 

But Altıntaş failed to kill Karlov that day, as the ambassador was not in Turkey and therefore could not attend the event, the prosecutors said. 

The prosecutors said that the Gülen movement planned the assassination to damage ties between Turkey and Russia. 

The first hearing of the trial is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2019.