After months of investigation, five defendants went on trial yesterday in Malatya for the murder of three Christians there in April, 2007.
A wife of one victim was apparently asked by her child, “Mum, when are we going to be killed for being Christians?” A solicitor also told the court that the accused “should be charged with genocide.” An additional seven suspects have been charged with aiding in the crime, but have not been arrested.
Representatives from Germany, the EU and the USA, as well as the spiritual leader for the Church of Diyarbakır, Ahmet Güvener, observed the hearing. Legal representatives for the accused, Emre Günaydın, Salih Gürler, Cuma Özdemir, Abuzer Yıldırım, and Hamit Çeker, were joined by 20 or so interveners. The interveners requested that friends and family of the suspects leave the room, as they may later be used as witnesses. Suspect Emre Günaydın’s father was asked to leave the courtroom as a result of the judge’s acceptance of this request.