Thursday, October 06, 2016

Five Turks Convicted of Killing Christians in Malatya Sentenced for Life – But Remain Free

Nine years after three Christians were tortured with knives and murdered in southeast Turkey, the Criminal Court in the city of Malatya, where it happened, has convicted their five accused killers, sentencing each of them on 28 Sept. to three consecutive life sentences in prison.

News of the long-awaited verdicts in the notorious "Malatya massacre" case quickly flashed throughout the Turkish media at the conclusion of the trial's 115th hearing. Emre Gunaydin, Salih Gurler, Abuzer Yildirim, Cuma Ozdemir and Hamit Ceker were all found guilty of premeditated murder, to be jailed for life without the possibility of parole.
But most media outlets failed to report the court's surprise ruling: that the now convicted killers would in fact still remain free, subject only to routine surveillance, while the case is being appealed before two higher courts.
Hours after the court decisions were announced, Pastor Ihsan Ozbek released a statement to the press on behalf of the Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey.
Deploring the judiciary's stated inability to "uncover the darkness behind the murders", Ozbek declared that the Protestant community desired a prompt, "just conclusion" that uncovered the motivation of the perpetrators and punished their crime.

No comments: