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Turkish court hands down 1,075-year sentence to religious cult leader

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A Turkish court has ruled for a prison sentence of 1,075 years, three months for religious cult leader Adnan Oktar on 10 counts, including sexual assault, fraud, espionage and extortion, according to Turkish media reports.

The last hearing in the trial of Oktar along with 235 others, 78 of whom are in pre-trial detention, took place at the İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court on Monday.

The trial began on Sept. 17, 2019. The 64-year-old Oktar and dozens of his followers were arrested in simultaneous nationwide raids in 2018. Oktar’s assets were seized the same day.

A controversial TV personality, Oktar used to mix theological discussions on air with visits from attractive young female devotees dubbed “kittens.”

He is best known for his strong advocacy of creationism, and many of his publications and televised discussions were aimed at refuting the theory of evolution.

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