Turkish murders: Court arrest after witness puts his car at death scene
Published 30/12/2011 | 17:00
The father of a man accused of the murders of two Northern Ireland women in a Turkish holiday region was dramatically arrested during a court hearing yesterday.
Eyup Cetin will now join his son Recep in custody over the stabbing of Newry women Marion Graham (54) and Kathy Dinsmore (53) in August.
Waiter Recep Cetin is the former boyfriend of Ms Graham's teenage daughter Shannon, who gave evidence against him at the Bayrakli City Courthouse in the Turkish town of Izmir.
The two women were slain at a forest near the town.
Shannon was accompanied by several members of her family, including her sisters Karen, Lorraine and Martina and brother David. An official from the Irish Embassy in Ankara was also on hand. There was no-one present from the Dinsmore family.
The national and international Press were out in force and, for quite some time, the families of the victims and the accused came face to face in a waiting room.
Because it was a juvenile hearing, the Press were excluded with only those involved allowed in the courtroom.
The Graham family said the relatives of the accused were trying to intimidate them, and the Turkish family was removed and put in another area.
Recep Cetin claims to be only 17, meaning that he would be tried as a juvenile and would face a much-reduced sentence if found guilty.
The families of the victims believe he is older, at least 20, and should be tried as an adult.
Births in parts of Turkey are often not reliably recorded. The judge ordered that a bone marrow test be carried out on Cetin to establish his exact age.
It had been thought Cetin carried out the murders because Ms Graham refused to let him marry Shannon.
She was just 15 at the time.
Yesterday in court Shannon denied this, saying that her mother told her two weeks before the killings that she wanted to take her back to Northern Ireland and never let her return to Turkey.
Solicitor Baris Kaska is acting on behalf of the Grahams and Dinsmore families. He said Cetin learned of this plan and told them at the time he would "do something bad" to the family. Mr Kaska said there had been suspicion from the start that Recep Cetin was not alone in committing the murders and that someone else was involved.
The lawyer claimed that Eyup Cetin had changed his story in his statement to police three times and revealed that he had been contacted by a new witness, who placed Eyup Cetin with his son at the murder scene.
Eyup Cetin had said in one of his statements that Recep was 22 years old.
He told the judge the witness had been afraid to come forward and it was only when they saw that Eyup Cetin had been released after an earlier arrest that they contacted him.
The witness was still afraid to be identified, but had made a statement placing Eyup Cetin and his car at the scene.
The judge accepted the evidence and Eyup Cetin was dramatically arrested and taken to jail. It's the first time the car, a black Tofas Sahin, which is a Fiat design made in Turkey, has been mentioned.
Under the Turkish legal system the judge can make his own statements and he went as far as to say he believed that one person could not have carried out the killings of the two women.
The bone marrow test will now be carried out and the next hearing is scheduled for February 22.
The Graham family said last night they were pleased with the way the hearing went, but were too exhausted to comment further.