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5 Mar, 2020 09:56

Those behind killing of Russian Ambassador Karlov in Turkey must be found & punished – Moscow

Those behind killing of Russian Ambassador Karlov in Turkey must be found & punished – Moscow

Russia wants to ensure that both masterminds and perpetrators in the 2016 murder of its envoy Andrey Karlov are found and brought to justice, the Kremlin said, hours ahead of a one-on-one between the Turkish and Russian leaders.

“Indeed, we are following this case very closely, and we want to be sure that those who orchestrated and carried out the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey will be found and punished by law,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

He spoke amid media reports that Turkish prosecutors have floated the idea of lifting several convicts’ charges.

While Turkey’s judicial proceedings “are none of our business,” it is crucial “that the murderers of our ambassador are punished,” Peskov reiterated.

It emerged earlier in the day that Turkish prosecutors have also requested 70 years behind bars for 8 suspects in the ambassador’s killing and asked for differing prison terms for several others. The next court hearing, where judges will hear lawyers for the suspects, is set for March 31.

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Posted to Turkey in 2013, Andrey Karlov was shot dead in front of the cameras as he was speaking at the opening of an art exhibition in December 2016. He was hailed for his effort to improve the Russian-Turkish relations severely strained after Turkey downed a Russian jet over Syria in 2015, which saw one of the pilots brutally killed by jihadists.

The gunman who opened fire at Karlov at point-blank range has been identified as 22-year-old Mevlut Altintas, an off-duty member of Ankara’s riot police force. He was filmed shouting “Allahu Akbar” and waving his gun before being shot by an arriving Special Forces team.

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