Story By: Lee Bullen, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
The lawyer of two defendants standing trial for raping and killing a young co-worker in Turkey has sparked outrage when he referred to the female victim as “not a virgin”.
Business partners Cagatay Aksu and Berk Akand are on trial in the north-western Turkish capital Ankara, charged with sexually assaulting and murdering 23-year-old student Sule Cet.
The young men allegedly threw her out of a tower block window in the early hours of the morning on 29th May 2018 and both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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Aksu said that the victim was working as his assistant that night and jumped from the 20th floor of her own accord after drinking alcohol and listening to music.
The defendant claimed that he tried to stop her while Akand said that he was inebriated and cannot remember much about the evening.
According to local media, the suspects both gave conflicting statements and failed to explain why they thoroughly cleaned the office after Cet allegedly jumped.
While investigators could not find any fingerprints on the office windows or glasses they drank from, Akand’s DNA was found under two of the victim’s fingernails.
Aksu denied having a relationship with Cet despite investigator’s finding a message on her phone to a close pal that said “he is not letting me leave the office as he is in love with me”.
Aksu’s unnamed attorney scolded the victim’s lawyers for “asking questions like a detective”, according to reports.
He said that the prosecution “has so many gaps” and called the indictment “ridiculous” before sparking outrage by referring to the victim as “not a virgin”.
He justified his client’s innocence by saying “no bruise or ruptures were found in her anal zone”.
His comments sparked outrage online while local media sources slammed them as “scandalous”.
According to reports, numerous women’s associations carried placards that read: “We demand real justice, not only justice for men.”
A spokeswoman for the Ankara Women’s Platform said: “Sule Cet was a student who had to work to earn a living. Her death was masked as a suicide so that her killers would be acquitted.”
The trial continues.