Belgian court sentences Erdal to 30 years for Sabancı murder

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Turkish DHKP-C member Fehriye Erdal (R) flashes the V-sign of victory as she comes out of a session of her trial at the Brugge correctionnal court with Musa Asoglu (L), Wednesday 25 January 2006. / AFP BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)

A Belgian court on Monday sentenced far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) member Fehriye Erdal in absentia to 30 years in prison for the murder of Turkish businessman Özdemir Sabancı in 1996 in İstanbul.

According to the Habertürk daily, the prosecutor demanded 30 years for Erdal for her crimes in Turkey and 15 years for membership in a terrorist organization. The terror membership verdict will be announced on Jan. 2, 2017, Habertürk reported.

Erdal is the prime suspect among three DHKP-C members in the assassination of Özdemir Sabancı, the head of Sabancı Holding, one of the biggest family-owned conglomerates in Turkey, along with Haluk Görgün, director of the holding’s Toyota distributer ToyotaSa, and his secretary Nilgün Hasefe at İstanbul’s Sabancı Center 20 years ago.

Fehriye Erdal was an employee at the center and provided access to her accomplices, İsmail Akkol and Mustafa Duyar.

Erdal first fled to Greece and then to Belgium. She was captured in Belgium in 1999; however, Belgium refused to extradite her to Turkey. In 1999, Erdal was caught in Belgium for possessing a fake passport. The suspect was later released and was put under house arrest, then fled in 2006. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

İsmail Akkol, one of the other accomplices, was also detained last February in Turkey after 20 years. The only one convicted among the accomplices was Mustafa Duyar. He was sentenced to life in prison but was killed in a prison revolt in 1999.

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