Bishop’s killer gets reduced sentence for having been provoked

January 24, 2013, Thursday/ 00:00:00/ AP

A court reduced the sentence of a man who killed a Roman Catholic bishop in the Mediterranean port of İskenderun in southern Turkey in 2010 on the grounds that he was offered a homosexual affair by the bishop.

Bishop Luigi Padovese was stabbed to death by his driver and bodyguard, Murat Altun, outside his home on June 3, 2010.

Altun was standing trial at the İskenderun 2nd High Criminal Court and facing a life sentence. Concluding the case on Tuesday, the court handed down a 15-year prison sentence to Altun instead of a life sentence because Altun claimed that the bishop had asked him to have an homosexual affair. Altun received a reduced sentence due to unjustifiable provocation.

The prosecutor said although there is no evidence showing that the bishop offered such a relationship, the suspect still has the right to benefit from unjustifiable provocation.

The prosecutor also said no links were found between Altun and a crime organization and that the incident was an “isolated” case.

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 court had in fact handed down a reduced sentence of 18 years to Altun but his sentence was reduced further to 15 years for good conduct during the trial.

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