ICC Note: Updated information on the Malatya massacre from 2007 in Turkey. Three Christians were brutally tortured and killed in southeast Turkey. The five assailants were captured and and convicted, though they were allowed to remain free. Now the men have been re-arrested because authorities feared they might flee Turkey. The protestant community of Turkey has lost much confidence in their own justice system surrounding their case, though now all five men will remain in custody until their appeals process is concluded.
10/04/2016 Turkey (WWM): Five Turkish men convicted last week of the 2007 murder of three Christians in southeast Turkey – but allowed to remain free – have been re-arrested.
They were picked up on Thursday evening (29 Sep.) after the prosecutor, Burhanettin Olgun, expressed fears they may flee Turkey.
Turkey’s tiny Protestant community said their confidence in justice had been “severely wounded” by the decision to let the killers remain free. The five will now remain in custody until their appeals process is concluded.
Original story (29 Sep.)
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.
Arrested at the scene of the crime, the five young men had slit the throats of Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Protestant Tilmann Geske in the Zirve publishing house in Malatya on 18 April, 2007.