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    » 12/13/2011, 00.00

    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.
    Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Murat Altun (pictured) is mentally fit to stand trial for the murder of Mgr Luigi Padovese, this according to a commission of doctors that examined him to determine his mental state, following an application by the defence.

    Following a pattern already used in the case of the murder of Fr Andrea Santoro, who was killed in Trabzon in 2006, doctors in a first examination provided Altun with a certificate indicating that he was not mentally fit to stand trial.

    In view of the certificate, a judge ordered a second examination, conducted by a medical commission in Istanbul that had access to all of Altun’s medical and other records, which found that he was sane and could be tried.

    This time, Altun’s defence team protested, demanding a second examination, whose results came yesterday, indicating that the bishop’s driver could stand trial.

    Thus, the trial can go ahead. The next hearing is set for 22 February. The first two were held on 5 October and 30 November but were suspended after the accused said he felt ill. The second court hearing lasted a total of four minutes.

    Altun, 26, was arrested on 3 June 2010, a few hours after Mgr Padovese’s murder. He had worked for the prelate for four years as his driver.

    Accused of cutting the bishop’s throat, Altun has found support among Islamic fundamentalist groups as well as his family. Significantly, at the start of the trial, one of his brothers shouted at him, “Murat, don’t be afraid! God is with you.”
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    See also

    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.

    11/10/2012 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.

    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.

    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.



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