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    Alparslan Celik

    Su-24 Pilot Killer’s Statement to be Handed to Russian Embassy, Ministry

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    Russian Su-24 Jet Downed Over Syria (276)
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    The lawyer of a Turkish national suspected of killing a Russian Su-24 pilot in Syria said Monday he would hand over his client's court statement detailing the November 24 incident to the Russian Embassy in Ankara and the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier in the day that Moscow was interested in Alparslan Celik’s "clear and detailed" account of his involvement in the killing of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov.

    "Celik’s statement in which he talks in detail about the incident with the plane will be given by me to the Russian Embassy in Turkey and the Russian Foreign Ministry," Celik’s legal counsel Murat Ustundag told RIA Novosti.

    Celik was arrested alongside 13 others in the Turkish city of Izmir in early April on charges of illegal gun possession. The suspect previously said that he had not shot at Peshkov but had accepted the responsibility for the killing as a commander of a militant group. Celik insisted he had repeatedly ordered his men to take the Russian pilot prisoner, and not to shoot at him.

    Ustundag said the Izmir court would unlikely hand down a guilty verdict against Celik, citing alleged records of his client calling on his subordinates not to shoot.

    The Russian Su-24 combat plane was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet over Syria on November 24, 2015, and fell 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border. The crew of the plane ejected and Peshkov was killed by fire from the ground, while the second pilot survived and was later rescued.

    Following the incident, relations between Russia and Turkey have soured and Moscow has imposed a set of economic restrictive measures against Turkey in retaliation.

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    Russian Su-24 Jet Downed Over Syria (276)

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