Deadly ISIS bomb attack suspect threatens families of victims in hearing in Ankara
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A suspect in a case into a deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) twin suicide bomb attack case has threatened the families of victims during a hearing held in the capital Ankara.
Metin Akaltin, one of the suspects in the Oct. 10, 2015 ISIL attack case, wagged his finger at the families as a gesture of threat in the third hearing of the case on May 3.
The hearing into the attack, which claimed a total of 101 lives and wounded dozens of others, began at around 10 a.m. at the Ankara Fourth Heavy Penal Court with the testimonies of the complainants.
As one of the complainants, Reyhan Urganci, was speaking, Akaltin started threatening the families of the victims, prompting the complainants lawyer Ilke Isik to ask the threat to be registered in the hearing records.
The threat was included in the reports upon Isiks request.
In a hearing on May 2, Akaltin also threatened his wife Hatice Akaltin, who is also among the suspects of the case, and her lawyer Oguz Akman.
Dont answer the questions, Akaltin told his wife, which resulted in Hatice Akaltin to remain silent in the face of the complainants lawyers questions.
Akman, in return, told the court that he is considering to retreat from his duty if she continued to remain silent.
We accepted defending her because we believed she was innocent. If she is not going to reply, Im thinking of giving up my duty as a lawyer. She is very devoted to her children. Her children are under the risk of death. We ask precautions to be taken regarding that, he said.
Court head Selfet Giray decided that Akaltin was under pressure and ordered the suspects to be escorted outside the courtroom.
You better not defend her; retreat from the case, Metin Akaltin told Akman while he was being escorted outside.
In the third hearing of the case, complainant Asiye Deniz said they still could not get over the shock of the attack, while another victim who survived with injuries, Ismail Hasta, said he was suffering from insomnia due to the statements he heard at the hearings.
The organizer of the attack, ISIL militant Halil Ibrahim Durgun, was on the run after the attack. Police received information that Durgun was hiding in a house in the southeastern province of Gaziantep with his wife Esin Durgun Altug and the Akaltin couple.
An operation was launched on Nov. 14, 2015, during which Durgun blew himself up while the three others were apprehended.
Hatice Akaltin was released to be tried without arrest after being in jail for a month, but was rearrested 2.5 months later over being an ISIL member.
The Ankara bombing on Oct. 10, 2015, was the deadliest terror attack carried out in the country by the jihadist group, killing 103 people, including the two suicide bombers. Some 391 others were wounded.
The attack occurred when the suicide bombers linked to ISIL targeted NGOs and supporters of left-wing parties holding a peace rally outside the capitals main train station.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News