01/22/2013, 00.00
TURKEY - VATICAN
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Mgr Padovese's murderer gets 15 years in prison

by Geries Othman
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.

Ankara (AsiaNews) - Murat Altun, the young man who killed Mgr Luigi Padovese on 3 June 2010, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The verdict came at 1 pm local time. According to Turkish legal experts, he has another 12 more years in prison since he has already been in jail for three years. In case of good behaviour, he might be released after six years and five months.

Murat Altun was 26 years old at the time of the murder. At the end of the trial, he said that he "was sorry for killing Mgr Luigi, who was the last person who could harm him. At that moment, I was not in control of myself".

Since his arrest, Altun wavered in the explanations he gave for slitting the prelate's throat, blaming successively mental illness, an Islamic ritual or a morbid homosexual relationship.

As was the case in Fr Andrea Santoro's 2006 murder in Trabzon, Altun's lawyers pleaded insanity, presenting medical assessments indicating that their client was not mentally competent to stand trial.

In June 2011, a medical commission in Istanbul determined that the accused was mentally competent to stand trial. The latter however proved frustrating as hearings were quickly and repeatedly postponed. On several occasions, various prelates called on the Turkish government to shed light on the murder.

 

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