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World Watch Monitor
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Christian murder case dents trust in justice among believers, leader warns

The five men were free to leave Malatya Criminal Court in the east of the country on Wednesday because their case is going to the Court of Appeals.

World Watch Monitor

Quoted by World Watch Monitor, Rev Ihsan Ozbek (pictured left) released a statement on behalf of the Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey, saying: "As the Protestant community, we want the procedure for the case to be performed quickly, in order that the trial will be brought to a just conclusion with the punishment of the perpetrators."

Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Protestant Tilmann Geske were tortured with knives and murdered in Malatya on April 18th 2007.

More than nine years later and after more than 100 hearings, a court found Emre Gunaydin, Salih Gurler, Abuzer Yildirim, Cuma Ozdemir and Hamit Ceker (pictured below) guilty of premeditated murder.

World Watch Monitor

Despite each being sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, the five men will be subject only to routine surveillance until the punishments are reviewed by an appeal court.

The Interior Ministry previously investigated the case, following allegations of collusion by public officials and flawed conduct by state prosecutors.

Two military officers were also jailed on Wednesday after being found guilty of violating the confidentiality of secret communications and forging documents, while a former general accused of being involved in the murders was acquitted.

Another 15 suspected perpetrators were also acquitted.

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