All defendants released in unsolved assassination case

All defendants released in unsolved assassination case
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A court in Turkey’s capital Ankara released all six defendants accused of involvement in the murder of academic Necip Hablemitoglu two decades ago.

A Turkish court on Thursday has ordered the release of six defendants accused of being involved in the assassination of a democrat academic Necip Hablemitoglu 20 years ago, leaving no one behind bars in the case. The decision drew a strong reaction from Sengul Hablemitoğlu, the wife of the victim, who expressed her disbelief and uncertainty about the future, given the lengthy ordeal they have endured for the past two decades.

Ankara 28th Heavy Penal Court has ruled for the release of 6 defendants, including retired Colonel Levent Goktas, accused of being the mastermind of the attack and former Special Forces member Tarkan Mumcuoglu, who is accused of being the hitman. Nuri Gokhan Bozkir and Fikret Emek, whose extradition from Ukraine to Turkey was personally announced by President Tayyip Erdogan were also released. As a result, there are no longer any detained defendants in the assassination case of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Necip Hablemitoğlu.

Prof. Necip Hablemitoglu was assassinated in front of his house on December 18, 2002. The case is still unsolved after two decades.

After the defenses and witness statements, Ersan Barkin, the lawyer for the Hablemitoğlu family, stated that it would not be appropriate to turn the case into a trial of witnesses, but there were individuals on television claiming, "I know the killer. Let the state ask, and I will reveal it." Barkin requested the testimonies of several people to be taken as witnesses, including the former president Abdullah Gul.

After the trial, the victim’s wife Sengül Hablemitoğlu expressed her reaction to the court's release decision on her social media account. She questioned, "The trial of Necip Hablemitoğlu's murder; the decision has been made for all defendants to be tried without detention. What will happen in the future is unknown. I don't know what to say in this situation. I mean, what have we been through for 20 years?"