Turkish Court rules Armenian soldier’s death an accident

A Turkish court on Tuesday ruled the 2011 shooting death of Turkish-Armenian soldier Sevag Sahin Balikci as an accident, reported Today’s Zaman.

The court sentenced the accused shooter Kıvanç Ağaoğlu to a four-year prison term.

Balıkçı’s family and lawyers contend that Balikci death had racial motives.

Earlier this month, a military prosecutor asked for a two-and-a-half year sentence for Ağaoğlu. In Tuesday’s decision the judge ruled for a lengthier four years and five months of prison time for Ağaoğlu. He will serve three years of that sentence, since the judge ruled that his time awaiting trial would be included in the overall sentence.

Balikci was killed on April 24, 2011 while stationed in Batman Province. Members of his unit who witnessed the shooting said it was accidental.

However, earlier reports on the trial indicated that the suspect’s family had pressured witnesses to provide false testimony to cover up any notion of a racially motivated crime.

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