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ANKARA, June 10 /TASS/. A court in the Turkish town of Izmir has set June 27 as the trial date for Alparslan Celik, charged with illegal weapons possession, the defendant’s lawyer, Murat Ustundag, told TASS on Friday.
"The court granted the indictment put forward by prosecutors and agreed to launch criminal proceedings. The hearings will begin on June 27. Celik is accused of violating a law on carrying and possessing firearms," Ustundag said. Another 13 people are facing similar criminal charges along with Celik.
Turkish police detained Celik and another 14 individuals in a restaurant in Izmir on March 30. The authorities confiscated several unlicensed submachine guns, a rifle and several pistols from the suspects. Some had allegedly returned from Syria where they had fought on the side of armed militant groups.
Alparslan Celik is also the alleged killer of the Russian Su-24 bomber pilot in Syria last November.
The local media spread Celik’s confession about the murder of the Su-24 pilot, Oleg Peshkov. Later, when in custody, the suspect denied personally shooting down the Russian, saying he had never issued such an order. Subsequently, the Prosecutor’s Office failed to find sufficient grounds to initiate criminal proceedings for that incident.
On November 24, 2015, a Turkish F-16 fired an air-to-air missile, slamming into a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber at an altitude of 6,000 meters and roughly a kilometer from Turkey’s border. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry specified that the Su-24 was downed when it was returning to the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.
The crew managed to eject from the aircraft, but one of the two pilots was killed by gunfire from the ground. The second pilot was rescued and evacuated to the base.