Police chief wanted in minor’s rape case captured in Bosnia and Herzegovina

June 30, 2013, Sunday/ 16:42:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A long-sought rape suspect, a police chief known by the initials, N.Ş., who was among more than 30 others allegedly involved in the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Sakarya province, has been captured in Bosnia and Herzegovina and delivered to Turkey by Interpol.

Thirty-four men and boys, including two police officers and 32 high school students, the ages of whom range between 14 and 17, are accused of sexually assaulting the 14-year-old girl in June of last year.

The Sakarya 2nd High Criminal Court is hearing the trial of the gang rape of Ö.C. Authorities were only able to detain 28 suspects, while four high school students and two police chiefs are fugitives. The authorities initially detained one of the police chiefs, N.Ş., but made a conditional release soon after.

In August of last year, the court ruled for the conditional release of 19 suspects, meaning they would have to check in with their local police station once a week and could not leave the country.

The court's decision led to outrage in the country while the court explained the rationale behind its ruling by saying that most of the suspects were minors and had been in jail for too long. It also said all the evidence regarding the crime had already been gathered by the prosecution.

N.Ş., however, fled the country four days after he was set free and Ankara said he was hiding in Sarajevo, citing intelligence sources. Turkey issued an international arrest warrant with a red bulletin for the police chief, who is the prime suspect in the rape case.

On Saturday, Bosnia and Herzegovina police affiliated with Interpol captured the police chief and extradited him to Turkey, just five days before the second hearing at the Sakarya court.

N.Ş. was taken to an İstanbul courthouse and then to Metris Prison in İstanbul. He will be sent to Adapazarı for a court hearing next week.

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