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    Alparslan Celik

    Turkey to Lay Charges Against Su-24 Pilot Killer Suspect Next Week - Lawyer

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    The Turkish Prosecutor's office is expected to present an indictment in the case of Alparslan Celik, the Turkish national suspected of killing a Russian Su-24 pilot in Syria, next week, Celik’s lawyer Murat Ustundag said Friday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — According to Ustundag, the indictment will unlikely contain homicide charges due to the lack of evidence, and Celik may be just charged of illegal gun possession.

    "We expect the Prosecutor's office to prepare the indictment on Monday or Tuesday," Ustundag told RIA Novosti.

    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 one of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by fire from the ground, while the second pilot survived and was later rescued.

    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.

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


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    trial, Downing of Russian SU-24, Alparslan Celik, Russia, Turkey
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