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Archive for Sunday, August 13, 2006

Man on trial tries to escape court to pray

August 13, 2006

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— A suspected Islamic extremist on trial for killing a high court judge was subdued by security forces Friday after he tried to escape from the courtroom to attend traditional prayers.

Alparslan Arslan is on trial with eight alleged accomplices, accused of fatally shooting a judge in a killing that stoked tensions between Turkey's secular establishment and the Islamic-rooted government.

On the trial's opening day, Arslan asked the court for permission to leave to pray, but Judge Orhan Karadeniz refused, saying the proceedings could not be interrupted for prayers.

Arslan then tried to escape but was caught by guards.

In the afternoon session, Arslan again tried to escape after hearing a call for prayers from a nearby mosque, but was stopped by guards once more, the private Dogan news agency reported.

Arslan is accused of bursting into Turkey's highest administrative court May 17 and shooting five judges, killing one. He has told the court that he planned and carried out the attack as well as a grenade assault on Turkey's pro-secular Cumhuriyet newspaper in May, which caused minor damage but no injuries.

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