Turkey: Bishop’s killer claims he was subject to gay advances and receives reduced sentence

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A man who killed a Catholic priest received a reduced sentence, after telling the court in his defence, that the priest requested to have a gay affair with him.

On 3 June 2010, Bishop Luigi Padovese was stabbed to death by his bodyguard and driver, Murat Altun, outside his home, reports Today’s Zaman.

He had been facing a life sentence at the Iskenderun Second High Criminal Court in southern Turkey, however concluding the case on Tuesday, the court gave him a 15 year prison sentence.

The reason for the reduced sentence was that Altun claimed that the bishop had asked him to have a gay affair, and so he was issued a sentence on the grounds of unjustifiable provocation.

Speaking in his defense, Altun said: “I regret having committed this crime. I did not kill that person for nothing. I killed him because there was a reason. Why should I have killed him otherwise?”

The prosecutor said that, despite there being no evidence that the bishop had requested such a relationship, the suspect still had the right to benefit from unjustifiable provocation.

The court also heard from the prosecutor that there were no links found between Altun and crime organisations, and that the incident had been an “isolated” case.

He had originally been handed down a sentence of 18 years, however it was further reduced to 15 years due to good conduct during the trial.