ANKARA, January 8. /TASS/. The first hearing on the murder of Andrey Karlov, Russian ambassador in Turkey, began on Tuesday in Ankara, TASAS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
At the end of November last year, the prosecutor's office of Ankara sent an indictment to the Second Court of the capital of Turkey on extremely grievous crimes. The case has 28 suspects, including the leader of the Fethullah Terrorist Group (FETO) Fethullah Gulen, as well as former civil servant Sahin Sogut, who allegedly ordered the murder of the Russian diplomat.
According to the judge, several suspects are abroad; therefore, they would not be brought to court on Tuesday. A total of 18 suspects were in the dock today, four of them are in prison and participate in the trial via video link.
The charges brought by the prosecutor's office include violating the constitutional order, membership in an armed terrorist group, premeditated murder for terrorist purposes. The prosecution described the incident as a "provocative action aimed at relations between Turkey and Russia."
Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was gunned down on December 19, 2016. An armed man whom the police later identified as a 22-year-old police officer opened indiscriminate fire in an art gallery in Ankara where Ambassador Karlov was opening a photo exhibition. Turkish officials said the attacker had been killed. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to award the Hero of the Russian Federation title to Andrey Karlov (posthumously).