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No imprisonment for Japanese tourist’s assailant

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
No imprisonment for Japanese tourist’s assailant

A minibus driver was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for the sexual assault of a Japanese tourist, but the court ruled to postpone his incarceration for the defendant's "respectful behavior" during the legal proceedings.

İbrahim K. was released pending trial on charges of sexual assault in 2011 after Japanese national Akie I. claimed he sexually abused her in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır.

A local court sentenced him to two years initially, but later commuted the sentence and eventually released him. He will be incarcerated in case he commits another crime.

The defendant and victim were absent in yesterday's hearing. The defendant's lawyer denied the victim's accusation while a prosecutor demanded up to 12 years for İbrahim K. on charges of aggravated sexual assault, but the judges decided that the crime was merely sexual harassment.

Akie I. had accused the defendant of sexual assault when she boarded his minibus to travel to the eastern city of Bitlis from Diyarbakır. İbrahim K. had denied the charges and said he simply argued with the woman "over a matter." No physical evidence implicating the driver was found, but it was revealed that the defendant lied to the court about his travel to the eastern city of Muş. The prosecutor had claimed that the suspect left for Muş for fear of capture after the incident, and an inquiry found his cellphone signal was located in Muş on the day of incident.

In 2013, a 23-year-old Turk was arrested in the central city of Nevşehir for the rape and murder of a Japanese tourist and the stabbing of her friend.

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