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09.10.2012 18:21 News >> Businessman Galip Öztürk Sentenced To Life İmprisonment

Businessman Galip Öztürk Sentenced To Life İmprisonment

Galip Öztürk, the owner of Metro Tourism, Turkey's leading bus company, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the İstanbul 19th High Criminal Court on Monday for instigating the murder 16 years ago of company employee Kuvvet Köseoğlu.

Galip Öztürk, the owner of Metro Tourism, Turkey's leading bus company, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the İstanbul 19th High Criminal Court on Monday for instigating the murder 16 years ago of company employee Kuvvet Köseoğlu.

The murder took place on Oct. 26,1996 in İstanbul's Beyoğlu district when Köseoğlu sustained four fatal gunshot wounds. Yavuz Özeren, a prosecutor in a trial in which Öztürk had been indicted but who later started working for Öztürk as legal counsel, was a suspect in the latest investigation against Öztürk. He stood trial along with suspects Kudret Okumuş, Yakup Yazıcı, Cengiz Kaya and Ali Odabaş.

"Seventeen other lawsuits without merit were brought against me at the İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court. I hope to be acquitted of all charges. I feel humiliated to be tried on charges of murder and establishing a criminal enterprise," added Öztürk.

Öztürk denied the accusations and demanded acquittal, claiming that fellow townsman Gürkan Ateşli had filed a claim about him due to earlier hostility between them. Öztürk further stated that he did not know Özeren before the ex-lawyer's retirement but that he felt sorry for causing Özeren to be drawn into the accusations against him.

Öztürk's lawyer stated that there was no evidence on which to base a conviction of his client.

The court concluded Öztürk's 13-year trial on Monday and handed down a sentence of aggravated life imprisonment but allowed a reduction to life imprisonment based on Öztürk's good behavior during the trial.

Okumuş was sentenced to life imprisonment for carrying out the murder of Köseoğlu, and Yazıcı was sentenced to twelve-and-a-half years in prison for his part in the crime. The court decided to acquit the other defendants due to lack of evidence.

Öztürk is expected to be tried at the 23rd High Criminal Court in the coming days on charges of establishing a crime syndicate for the purpose of generating monetary profit, which could earn him a jail term of 140 years.

The share value of various companies in which Öztürk is involved declined significantly on the İstanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) after the sentence of life imprisonment was handed down by the court.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman)



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