Defendants at the 95th hearing over the murder of three Christians in Malatya, eastern Turkey told the Malatya High Criminal Court on 18 Aug. that a “parallel structure”, an ultranationalist cabal of retired generals, politicians, journalists and mafia members were responsible for the deaths.

Prosecution lawyer Erdal Dogan said the prosecuting judge requested that the five prime suspects found at the scene be sentenced for their crimes. The five were released from prison in March because of a law that terrorism suspects cannot remain in prison for more than five years while still on trial.

Three came to court while another two joined via teleconference. Four other suspects, believed to have masterminded the deaths, remain in prison, Dogan said. Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel along with German Tilmann Geske were brutally murdered at the Zirve Publishing House where they worked.

The next hearing for the murders in Malatya is scheduled for 15 October, 2014.