Life sentence demanded for Bible publishing house murder suspects

14 out 18 murder suspects should face life sentences, according to prosecutor.

14 out 18 murder suspects should face life sentences, according to prosecutor.

MALATYA - A prosecutor has demanded life sentences in solitary confinement and without parole for 14 of 18 suspects in the murder case of three Zirve Bible Publishing House employees who were stabbed to death in April 2007.

The suspects, including retired Full General Hursit Tolon and Colonel Mehmet Ulger, were detained on March 17, 2011 after the murder case was included within the scope of Ergenekon coup plot trial in March 2011.

The prosecutor demanded life sentence for the 14 suspects at the 92nd hearing of the case at the Malatya High Criminal Court No.3 for "attempting to abolish the government, or prevent it from performing its duties by using force."

The prosecutor also demanded separate convictions for several suspects for threatening freedom, attempted looting, soliciting murder, being a member of and aiding a terror organization.

The court ordered the release of two suspects and postponed the hearing to April 10.

Zirve Publishing House was raided in Malatya on April 18, 2007, and three Christian members of staff including one German national were stabbed in the throat, inciting a public outcry.

On January 18, 2013, the Malatya High Criminal Court No.3 issued an order for arrest for four suspects including Tolon in connection with the killings.

The so-called Ergenekon coup plot trial is about an alleged ultranationalist clandestine network, which is accused of plotting to oust the Justice and Development (AK) Party government in 2007.

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