In still another delay in a years-long trial over the 2007 murders of three Christians in southeast Turkey, the Zirve Publishing House trial is to be moved away from the place where the murders happened, Malatya, to another province.
The pending court transfer stems from a legislative amendment which has set up new courts in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir to take charge of terrorism and organised crime cases, instead of the previous specially authorised courts abolished last year.
“If the case is moved to a Diyarbakir court, this will be a fourth change of the board of judges in the trial,” lawyer Erdal Dogan told Today’s Zaman. “Of course, such a change would affect the trial negatively. It takes a lot of time for each board of judges and prosecutors to read and acknowledge the case file. There are dozens of folders.”
Life sentences without parole have been demanded for the five accused murderers, who were released from prison to house arrest in March 2014. Except for one prisoner jailed on other charges, all the accused perpetrators behind the brutal murder of two Turkish Christians and a German missionary have also been released.