The celebrity dog trainer who filmed his Ukrainian-model girlfriend rather than helping her as she dangled from their balcony has been acquitted by a court.
Prosecutors had demanded aggravated life imprisonment plus up to five years in jail for Burak Ercan on accusations of aggravated murder and deprivation of liberty.
The fatal incident took place at Ercan’s luxury condo in Istanbul in June 2021.
He had gone out for dinner with stunning Anzelika Srabiants and, after consuming alcohol, the couple had argued in the taxi on the way home.
The row continued in the flat and – allegedly when Ercan was in the bathroom – the 33-year-old model went out onto the balcony.
The defendant – aged 32 at the time – then allegedly came out of the bathroom and spotted Anzelika hanging from the railing over the void.
Then, instead of helping her, he whipped out his mobile phone and started filming.
He claimed at the time that he had stopped filming moments later and rushed over to grab Anzelika’s hand.
But, he said, she lost her grip and fell to her death.
He baffled police at the time by claiming during questioning that he had filmed his girlfriend with the explicit intention of not being accused of having pushed her.
Lawyers representing the victim’s family showed the Istanbul Anatolian 3rd High Criminal Court messages allegedly proving that Ercan had beaten Anzelika.
But judges ended up acquitting him after experts from the Forensic Medicine Institute were unable to find any damning evidence proving his guilt.
In Turkey, prisoners sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment can only be paroled after serving at least 36 years, or 40 years if given more than one sentence.
Ercan maintains that he had run over to try to save Anzelika. He claimed to the court: “My only aim was to help.”