Turkmen killer of Russian Su-24 pilot not held for killing pilot but for different unrelated event. (Trust).
A man suspected of killing a Russian pilot whose plane was shot down by a Turkish jet near the Syrian border in November has been detained over an unrelated incident, Turkey's Dogan news agency said on Friday.
Authorities arrested Alparslan Celik, a fighter with a Turkish-backed Turkmen brigade opposing government forces in northern Syria, in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir on Thursday along with 13 other people.
Moscow called the downing of the plane a pre-planned provocation and retaliated with economic sanctions, also urging Turkish authorities to try Celik and his associates for murder.
But Dogan cited police sources as saying they had no information about claims that Celik killed the pilot and that his detention was related to a previous conviction -- whose nature the agency did not specify -- under which he was supposed to serve 30 months in jail.
Izmir police were unable to provide further information about Celik's arrest.
The agency said he was questioned by a prosecutor about his alleged role in the Russian pilot's death, but his lawyer argued the question was irrelevant as it was not related to the reason for his arrest. It said Celik and the rest of the group had been detained after police were called because they were carrying weapons.
Attempts by Reuters on Friday to reach government officials for comment were not successful.
Speaking to reporters near the Syrian village of Yamadi on Nov. 24, the day the Russian jet was downed, Celik said he and other fighters opened fire as the pilot and his navigator parachuted to the ground. Hmmm....If the way Turkish courts deal with ISIS Suspects is an example, than he probably will be released pending his trial. Read the full story here.
In an usual move, Alparslan Celik was sent back by the prosecutor to the police for another interrogation. That is quite rare. #Turkey— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) April 3, 2016
Çelik reversed his earlier stand & reportedly told his interrogators that he asked his comrades in arms to not shoot the pilot. #Turkey— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) April 3, 2016
Prosecutor asked İzmir No.3 Penal Court of Judge to arrest Alparslan Çelik & his comrades. These courts are known to be under gov't control.— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) April 3, 2016