Witness places father and son near killing scene in Turkey

November 13, 2012

By Christine Keighery

In the first of several evidence sessions to examine evidence surrounding the murders of two County Down women in Turkey last summer, a witness has testified to seeing the father and son suspects near the scene of the killings.

Best friends Marian Graham, from Newry, and Cathy Dinsmore, from Warrenpoint, were stabbed to death in a forest on the outskirts of the Turkish city of Izmir, in August 2011.

Recep Cetin, 22, and his father Eyup are accused of murdering the women and are being tried in a series of hearings which are being held over a number of months in Izmir. Recep was the boyfriend of Marion Graham’s daughter, Shannon, at the time of the killings.

Last Friday morning, the Turkish court, overseen by a panel of four judges heard evidence from a witness who testified via video link from another courtroom.

The witness, whose identity was kept secret and his voice disguised, said he had been visiting a nearby graveyard on the day of the killings when he heard moans and screams from the forest.  He claims to have followed a path and saw the suspects standing beside an electricity pillar.

The witness said he went to the police the following day after seeing a newspaper report about the murders. A defence lawyer for the father and son claimed however that police records show the witness did not go to police until a month after the killings.

Recep and Eyup Cetin said they did not accept the witness’s statement, branding him a liar and requesting that the court set them free.

Evidence was also heard from a taxi driver who drove both victims from Kusadasi, where they were staying, to Izmir along with Recep Cetin.

An officer from the Turkish Birth Registry office also attended court and confirmed that Recep Cetin’s legally accepted age was 22, not 17 as he had previously claimed.

Recep Cetin will face a heavier penalty if convicted, as his case will continue in the adult court system rather than the juvenile justice system where it was initially being dealt with.

The lawyer for the victims’ families, Baris Kaska, lawyer for the victims’ families advised that there would be several more evidence sessions before the case concludes.

The next hearing will take place on 28 December.