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Turkish court sentences TV preacher to 8,658 years in prison

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An İstanbul court in a retrial on Wednesday sentenced a Muslim preacher who surrounded himself with scantily clad women he called “kittens” to 8,658 years in prison, Agence France-Presse reported, citing local media.

Adnan Oktar hosted TV programs surrounded by women wearing lots of makeup and little clothes as he preached creationism and conservative values.

Last year the 66-year-old was sentenced to 1,075 years for crimes including sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, fraud and attempted political and military espionage.

A higher court overturned the ruling.

During the retrial, an İstanbul high criminal court sentenced Oktar to 8,658 years in prison on several charges including sexual abuse and deprivation of liberty, the Anadolu news agency reported.

The court also sentenced 10 other suspects to 8,658 years in prison each, the agency said.

Oktar, whom critics see as the leader of a cult, gained notoriety for his programs on the online A9 television channel and had regularly been denounced by Turkey’s religious leaders.

In a major crackdown on his group, he was taken into custody in İstanbul in 2018 as part of a probe by the city’s police financial crimes unit.

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