Turkey frees man charged with killing Russian pilot

Ankara, May 10 (IANS) Authorities on Tuesday dropped all charges against a man charged with killing the pilot of a Russian fighter jet downed by Turkey in November 2015 and set him free.

Alparslan Celik, who had been remanded in custody for 37 days, said he was the one who told his men not to fire at the parachuting pilot, Xinhua news agency cited a report by Anadolu news agency.

A public prosecutor in Izmir decided to drop the case after examining the video evidence.

On March 31, Turkish security forces apprehended 14 people, including Celik. A long-barreled Kalashnikov rifle and two handguns were seized during the operation.

Celik and 13 other suspects were detained for “violation of firearms law”.

Following the downing of a Russian fighter jet on November 24, relations between Russia and Turkey soured rapidly. One of the jet’s two pilots had been killed while the other was rescued by Russian forces.



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