Istanbul, July 7 () - A Turkish man is facing up to 18 years in prison for killing a Serbian fan before a basketball game on Nov. 21, 2014 in Istanbul.
Kadri Aktaş, along with six other suspects, appeared in the Bakırköy 15th Court for Serious Crimes in Istanbul in a case filed after Serbian basketball fan Marko Ivkovic, 25, was stabbed to death in clashes that erupted before the Red Star-Galatasaray basketball match.
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor İbrahim Baytekin demanded that Aktaş be given 12 to 18 years in prison on charges of “murder upon baseless incitement” while he demanded the acquittal of six other suspects.
Video evidence shot at the time of the killing showed Ivkovic and Aktaş in the same frame, with Aktaş holding a knife, Baytekin said at court.
The six other defendants being tried without arrest - Çağatay Hız, Yusuf Velioğlu, Atakan Bodan, Gökhan Yıldız, Volkan Sarı and Serhan Yücel Aydoğmuş - were acquitted of charges of assisting Aktaş in the killing of Ivkovic, after no solid evidence was found, the prosecutor added.
The indictment prepared by the Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, in which the Serbian Consulate General in Istanbul is involved as a plaintiff, said clashes erupted between Red Star and Galatasaray supporters before the game at the Abdi İpekçi Stadium in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on Nov. 21, 2014.
It also stated that a group including the defendants had attacked Ivkovic and those around him after police suppressed the first clash. Aktaş then stabbed Ivkovic after the Serbian man punched him during the clashes, it also stated.
News of the incident led to an uproar in Serbia at the time, prompting calls for revenge from several fan groups and also raising concerns about future games between Turkish and Serbian basketball teams.