10/05/2007, 00.00
TURKEY
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Sentence for Father Santoro’s murderer upheld

Supreme Court of Appeals upholds sentence; young murderer will purge 18 years and 10 months in prison. Doubts remain about possible principals and connections to the Hranti Dink murder.

Ankara (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the sentence of 18 years and 10 months imposed on the 16-year-old murderer of Italian Catholic priest Andrea Santoro, who was killed as he was praying in his church in the Black Sea city of Trabzon.

A Trabzon court last year found Oğuzhan Akdin guilty of premeditated murder, illegal possession of a firearm and endangering public security.

The young man was arrested a few hours after the deed still in possession of the weapon he used in the crime. He claimed his action was in response to the publication of cartoons about Muhammad by the Danish newspaper Yyllands-Posten, which were reprinted by other European publications.

For many the results of the police investigation were never totally convincing, especially since both Father Santoro’s murderer, Oğuzhan Akdin, and Ogun Samast, who killed journalist Hrant Dink on January 17 this year, are very young and from Trabzon.

This has led some to think that they might have had the same principal, at least in moral terms.

With the sentence confirmed, no further inquiries are likely to be made.

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