Friday 23 June 2017

Turkey murder accused claims he killed friends ‘in self-defence’

Shannon Graham in Turkey with Recep Cetin
Shannon Graham in Turkey with Recep Cetin
Marion Graham
Kathy Dinsmore

Deborah McAleese

THE Turkish waiter accused of murdering best friends Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore has claimed he killed them in self defence.

Recep Cetin told his lawyer he stabbed the women after they had attacked him, cutting his hand.

A source close to the investigation revealed that when Cetin realised he faces at least 20 years in prison if convicted of two premeditated murders, he “panicked”.

He said the women attacked him after bringing him to the area where their bodies were later discovered. Police are using forensic experts to determine who used the knife first.

Cetin’s next court hearing is not expected for at least two months. During those proceedings he will take the judge to the scene of the killings and demonstrate what he claims happened on the day.

It is also understood that Turkish courts intend to ask for medical tests to be carried out on Cetin as soon as possible to determine his age.

Bone marrow tests will establish if Cetin is indeed 17. The police believe that he could be older. In parts of south-east Turkey births are not registered immediately and police and court officials believe this has happened in Cetin's case.

If the tests show he is older than 17 he will be tried as an adult and therefore faces a life sentence if convicted. Fresh details emerged last night on the sequence of events leading to the women’s deaths, including how Cetin escaped the scene, how the killings came to light, and how the bodies were eventually discovered.

On Thursday afternoon Cetin arranged a taxi to take himself, Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore for a short trip to the city of Izmir from the Turkish seaside resort of Kusadasi.

Interrogation The taxi dropped them off outside Cetin's father's market at around 1pm and was due to collect them again at 2pm but they never arrived for their fare.

Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore had been killed and their bodies left in a wooded park on the outskirts of the city. After he allegedly murdered the two women, police believe that Cetin then took his father's car and drove back to Kusadasi.

Police quizzed Cetin after he was spotted with blood on his T-shirt and a cut to his hand. He told them that someone had kidnapped the two women and attacked him.

However, he allegedly admitted he had killed the woman after three hours’ interrogation. It is understood that a bail application is to be made within the next few days. However, this is just a formality and Cetin is not expected to be released.

During initial police questioning Cetin allegedly told police he stabbed the women because they had “killed” his “dreams” when they blocked his bid to marry Ms Graham’s 15-year-old daughter and set up a life in Ireland with her.

But according to a source close to the investigation: “When his lawyer spoke to him he told his lawyer it was selfdefence because the women had attacked him.” A coroner’s report showed that both women were stabbed around 15 times each, mainly in the chest area.

Cetin was treated for a knife wound to his hand. He is currently detained in a youth prison outside Izmir. It is understood his family have since left Kusadasi due to hostility over the murders and that local businesses are concerned that the attacks will affect tourism and business.

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