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  • » 10/11/2012, 00.00

    TURKEY

    Hearing in Mgr Padovese murder trial postponed again after five minutes



    The defendant's lawyers ask for a new witness to be heard and some phone conversations to be entered as evidence. Murat Altun, Mgr Luigi Padovese's driver, is the only person accused in the murder, which took place on 3 June 2010. The next hearing is set for 28 October.

    Ankara (AsiaNews) - The latest hearing in the trial of Murat Altun, the lone suspect in the murder of Mgr Luigi Padovese, lasted five minutes in Iskenderun. Local sources told AsiaNews that the defence asked that a new witness be heard and that some phone conversions be entered as evidence. Thus, for the umpteenth time, the court postponed the trial until 28 October.

    Mgr Luigi Padovese, a Capuchin and the Episcopal vicar for Anatolia, was stabbed to death and then beheaded by his driver, Murat Altun, on 3 June 2010. After his arrest, the 26-year-old man tried to justify his deed by pinning it on a number of motives: anti-Muslim feelings, a morbid homosexual relationship and madness.

    As in the murder case of Fr Andrea Santoro (2006, Trabzon), Altun's lawyers entered an insanity plea, presenting medical certifications claiming that their client was not fit to stand trial. However, in June 2011 a medical commission in Istanbul determined that the defendant was of sound mind and body and that he could be tried.

    So far, hearings have been brief and regularly postponed. The first hearing on 5 October lasted 20 minutes. After the charges were read, the prosecutor asked Altun what he had to say. The latter said he did not feel well and that he needed medical attention. The same occurred in subsequent hearings, which lasted on average four to five minutes.

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    See also

    13/12/2011 TURKEY
    Mgr Padovese’s murderer is mentally sane
    The attempt by Murat Altun’s defence to have him declared legally insane at the moment of the crime fails. Now the trial can go ahead. The next hearing is set for 22 February.

    05/10/2011 TURKEY – VATICAN
    Trial of Mgr Padovese’s murder begins
    The trial opened today. Its first hearing ended after 20 minutes, adjourned to next November. Murat Altun’s family comforted him, saying, “God is with you.” The accused said he felt ill; his lawyer asked for his hospitalisation. The judge refused.

    03/06/2011 TURKEY – VATICAN
    Turkish Church remembers Mgr Padovese a year after his murder
    A mass is set to take place in Iskenderun. Mgr Ruggero Franceschini will conduct the service in the presence of the nuncio. As Catholics keep a very low profile, an Istanbul medical commission finds the prelate’s murderer, Murat Altun, fit to stand trial after he was on his way to acquittal on mental health grounds. No trial date has been set yet. An Indian Capuchin priest was attacked last Good Thursday.

    22/01/2013 TURKEY - VATICAN
    Mgr Padovese's murderer gets 15 years in prison
    Murat Altun, now 29, says he is sorry for killing the bishops but "At that moment, I was not in control of myself." He could be released for good behaviour after six years.

    01/12/2011 TURKEY – VATICAN
    Second hearing in the trial of Mgr Padovese’s murderer ends after four minutes
    Murat Altun says he is sick. Judge suspends trial held in Iskenderun until 22 February 2012. Speaking to AsiaNews, sources say that claims of illness might be part of a strategy to demand a mental assessment of the accused, who was originally found fit to stand trial. Turkish Catholics are now waiting for the Vatican to appoint a new bishop to fill the void left by mgr Padovese’s death.



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