Courtroom drama as Turkey double-murder trial halted in photo row
The trial of a father and son accused of killing two Northern Irish holidaymakers in Turkey was halted after the representative for the Irish government was caught taking photos in court.
Recep Cetin (22) and his father Erup Cetin face trial in Izmir, Turkey, for the murder of friends Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore, both 53 and from Newry, Co Down.
The women's bodies were discovered in Kusadasi, Turkey, in woodland near their holiday resort in August 2011.
Ms Graham and her daughter Shannon regularly spent their summers in the Turkish resort and returned home during the winter months.
Shannon, who was 15 at the time, met Recep Cetin on one of these trips and started a relationship with him. Families of the victims did not attend court yesterday; but the Irish government was represented by honorary consul Bulent Akgerman.
In the second half of the hearing, the consul was found taking photos with his mobile phone. Judges then ordered a lockdown of the courtroom.
Mr Akgerman apologised to the court and claimed he did not know it was forbidden to take photos at the hearing. His mobile phone was confiscated and photos of the trial were deleted.
The Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs last night confirmed that its honorary consul – who was there so that the victims' families could be kept informed of what was happening – did take a photograph inside the courtroom, but was unaware this was not allowed.
"The proceedings were suspended temporarily but once the case resumed, the judges rejected the defendants' appeal for a new survey of the crime scene.
Police allege Recep Cetin drove Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore to woodlands after a row over whether he could marry Shannon.
It is alleged that Recep Cetin then stabbed Ms Graham in the chest and cut Ms Dinsmore's throat.
Police arrested Recep Cetin soon after the bodies were found, and the waiter confessed to the killing during a police interview.
The case was adjourned until May 15.