An Ankara court on Wednesday sentenced businessman Çağatay Aksu to life in prison for the murder of Şulet Çet, a 23-year-old university student whose death has sparked outrage on Turkish social media, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
The court also handed down an 18-year prison sentence to Berk Akand, another suspect, for sexual assault and complicity in the murder.
Umur Yıldırım, one of the Çet family lawyers, said they would appeal the decision and seek an aggravated life sentence with no chance of parole.
During his testimony Aksu said he “never laid a hand on” Çet and that the incident was promoted by “fake news propaganda” on social media sites.
“I am being charged with impossible-to-happen things. Everyone is curious about what happened. I never laid a hand on Şule. If I had committed a crime, I would have left the country in 45 days,” he said.
Aksu also said he and Çet did not have an argument and that he did not push her from the 20th floor of a building.
He had previously claimed that Çet committed suicide by jumping from his office window at 4 a.m., while Akand was in another room “sleeping.”
It was revealed that Çet had sent an SMS to a friend two hours before her death, saying: “I can’t get out of here. This man won’t let me go. He is obsessed with me.”
“There is nothing against me in that file. I want you to read our letters with Berk in prison. I swear on my life that I did not lie. I demand my acquittal,” Aksu said.
Çet, a student at Gazi University, was found dead at the base of a 20-story building in Ankara’s upscale Çankaya district on May 28, 2018.
Aksu was Çet’s boss. He had hired her as an assistant and later fired her.
On the day of Çet’s death, Aksu and Akand invited her to dinner to talk about her work situation. Later, they went to Aksu’s office for after-dinner drinks, where the incident allegedly took place.
Meanwhile, during his testimony, Akand said he was not even present at the scene of the crime. He also demanded his acquittal.
The lawyer for the defendants claimed that the court was “under the pressure of the public.”