WASHINGTON D.C. – Armenian terrorist Hampig Sasunyan, currently under trial in the United States, for the first time confessed at the court that he had murdered Kemal Arikan, Turkey’s Consul General in Los Angeles. Thus, Sasunyan got the chance to be released in 2007 over his good conduct.
Sasunyan who sat at a secret bargaining with Los Angeles city prosecutors confessed his crime and thus saved himself from re-trial and life in prison although his re-trial was in question because he had murdered Arikan in 1982 just because he was of Turkish nationality.
Sasunyan, read out aloud a written text at the court saying, ”I joined murder of Kemal Arikan. I condemn usage of terrorist tactics to gain political targets. I repent for the sufferings of Arikan family.” Sasunyan was sentenced to 25 years in prison. However, Sasunyan will be able to be released after September 28, 2007 as he had served most of the imprisonment term.
Sasunyan, who was 19 years old when he committed the murder, and who is currently 39 years old, was about to be re-tried on charges that he had murdered Arikan, 54, because of his nationality. Following September 11 terrorist attacks, Los Angeles regional prosecutor Steve Cooley was getting prepared to re-try Sasunyan on charges of terrorism.
According to the laws, Arikan’s family had to be informed about the bargaining between Sasunyan and the prosecutors. Arikan family has the right to appeal the decision as it has not been informed, and that a secret bargaining had taken place.
Greg Dohi, who sat at bargaining with Sasunyan, defended that their bargaining was a victory for the state.
Dohi said, ”in the end, it has been accepted that Sasunyan took role in this murder. He confessed his role in this crime, and condemned violence.”
Sasunyan shot Kemal Arikan in the head and the chest on January 28, 1982 as he was walking towards his car. Sasunyan was later captured thanks to an eyewitness.
Anadolu Agency 11/12/2002 7:43:33 AM