Turkey Cuts Islamic State Jihadist’s Jail Time for ‘Good Conduct’ Despite Skipping Trial

Islamic State fundraiser
Militant website via AP

An Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) convict in Turkey — who skipped out during his trial and has yet to be located by police — was rewarded with a jail sentence reduction of over one year due to “good conduct,” according to some news outlets.

He was arrested with two other men linked to ISIS who had their charges dropped despite missing their trials and disappearing.

The jihadist, whose trial and sentencing were conducted in absentia, was identified as Ahmet Güneş by Rudaw and Hurriyet Daily News, citing the Doğan News Agency as their source.

Currently, Güneş is believed to be residing in Syria.

Rudaw reports:

Güneş was found guilty of receiving training at an ISIS camp, murder, and joining a terrorist group He was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison but the court reduced his sentence to six years and three months due to his “good conduct” during the trial process; a process he did not participate in as he failed to appear and the police could not locate him.

He was arrested on March 25, 2014, in Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep, along with a compatriot who, despite taking “part in the deadliest terror attack in modern Turkish history,” was “released with charges dropped,” notes Rudaw.

Overall, Güneş was arrested with two other men who were traveling in a car with him — Mustafa Delibaşlar and Ökkeş Durmaz.

“Delibaşlar, the driver of the car… was one of the suspects in a double bombing outside Ankara’s central railway station on October 10, 2015,” reports Rudaw. “The blast killed 103 and is the deadliest terror attack in modern Turkish history.”

Although the three suspects were released on October 30, 2014, pending trial, all of them missed their trials and the police were unable to locate them.

Nevertheless, Rudaw notes that “the charges against Delibaşlar and Durmaz were dropped due to insufficient evidence and a travel ban on the two was lifted. But the trial of Güneş continued in absentia and the prosecutor sought a life sentence on the murder charge.”

“Durmaz was reportedly an ISIL militant active in Turkey and Syria,” points out Hurriyet, adding that both of Güneş’s companions were fighting on behalf of ISIS in Syria.

In the car that Güneş was traveling in, police unearthed documents linked to ISIS as well as video footage showing the convict fatally shooting the Syrian man and receiving weapons and explosives training at one of the jihadist group’s training camps in Syria.

The man shot by Güneş was identified as an alleged Syrian member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and other NATO members.

Rudaw reports:

Güneş, along with Mustafa Delibaşlar, who was driving the car at the time of their arrest, and Ökkeş Durmaz who was traveling with Güneş, were charged on April 22, 2014 with being members of a terrorist organization. On May 27, 2014, the additional charge of intentional murder was filed against Güneş.

Güneş argued in a preliminary court hearing that he killed the Syrian man out of concern for his own life and had no connections with the ISIS terrorist group.

His alleged accomplices also denied the allegations that they were affiliated with a terrorist organization and asked for their release.