Turkey sentences UN war crimes judge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 16, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:08 AM, June 16, 2017


Turkey sentences UN war crimes judge

Turkey has sentenced a UN war crimes judge to 7 years and six months in prison on charges of "membership in a terrorist organization", an international court in the Hague said yesterday.

Judge Aydin Sedaf Akay has been held in Turkey since September, one of tens of thousands of Turkish officials arrested in a crackdown on people and organisations after a foiled coup in which hundreds died.

The UN court said in a statement that Turkey's actions constituted a "further breach of Judge Akay's protected status", as UN judges have diplomatic immunity under international law.

Akay is a judge at the MICT, the Hague court set up to handle final appeals and other remaining cases from the Yugoslav and Rwanda war crimes tribunals, which are being wound down.

At the time of his arrest, Akay was part of a panel assembled to determine if new evidence showed Rwandan Augustin Ngirabatware had been wrongfully convicted of genocide and jailed for 35 years.

That proceeding has been delayed by Akay's absence.

According to a statement by the MICT, Akay was convicted on Tuesday on a single charge of membership in "FETO" - which Turkey says is a terrorist organization that supports US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen whom Ankara accuses of backing the coup.

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