Turkish Christians are disappointed that no verdict was given on 28th June in a long-standing, nine-year murder trial following the killing of three Christians in Malatya in 2007. Court officials said that a verdict would be given, but the trial was adjourned until 28th September.
Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske were murdered on 18th April 2007 at the Zirve Christian publishing house in Malatya in eastern Turkey. Five men, aged 19 and 20 at the time, were arrested at the scene and charged with the murders. Their trial became increasingly complicated as a result of efforts to identify those behind the perpetrators and to link the trial to political events in Turkey. The reassignment of judges, prosecutors and other court officials also resulted in significant delays.
On 10th March 2014, the five perpetrators were released from prison and put under house arrest with electronic tags. However, they have been seen moving around freely.
Relatives of the victims expressed their disappointment in the Turkish justice system. In an interview with journalists, Geske’s widow Susanne, present with her three children, said: “Nine years have now passed and I haven’t seen anything. A lot of things have changed. I now only have confidence in God’s justice. I will be surprised if a fair decision will be given.”
The mother of Yuksel, Hatice, also present commented that she was very tired of coming and going over the last nine years: “I lost my child. On this holy day at least won’t they (the defendants) speak the truth? How is it that the murderers remain free?”