The first hearing on the murder of Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, began on Tuesday, TASS reported from the courtroom in Ankara.
At the end of November 2018, the prosecutor's office sent an indictment to the Second Court of Ankara for especially serious crimes. The case has 28 suspects, including the leader of the Fethullah Terrorist Group (FETO) Fethullah Gulen, as well as former civil servant Sahin Sogut, who allegedly ordered the murder of the Russian diplomat.
According to the judge, some suspects are abroad and will not be brought to court. A total of 18 suspects were in the dock, four of them are in prison and participate in the trial via video link.
The charges brought by the prosecutor's office include violating the constitutional order, membership in a terrorist group, premeditated murder for terrorist purposes. The prosecution described the incident as a "provocative action aimed at relations between Turkey and Russia.”
Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was killed on December 19, 2016. An armed man whom the police later identified as a 22-year-old police officer opened indiscriminate fire in an art gallery in Ankara where Ambassador Karlov was opening a photo exhibition. Turkish officials said the attacker had been killed. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to award the Hero of the Russian Federation title to Andrey Karlov.