Turkey welcomes parole rejection of diplomat's murderer

ANKARA - Turkey has welcomed the rejection of parole to a convicted murderer of a Turkish diplomat serving jail time in the U.S.

Armenian-origin Hampig Sassounian killed Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan in Los Angeles on Jan. 28, 1982. Authorities rejected Sassounian’s request for bail.

"We welcome that the request for release on parole of the terrorist Sassounian, who on 28 Jan.1982 assassinated Arikan in a treacherous attack has been rejected at the parole hearing held on Friday," Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We consider this rejection decision as appropriate in terms of universal principles of justice as well as necessary for an effective and uncompromising stance against terrorism," Spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in the statement.

Bilgic also said that Turkey paid tribute to Arikan and other Turkish diplomats and citizens who were victims of terrorism.

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