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US court parole's killer of Turkish envoy

Flags of Turkey and USA seen neat Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey on October 17, 2019 [Evrim Aydın / Anadolu Agency]
Flags of Turkey and USA seen neat Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey on October 17, 2019 [Evrim Aydın / Anadolu Agency]

Turkey's Foreign Ministry Saturday condemned the US parole granted for the murderer of a Turkish diplomat.

A California court Friday ruled for the conditional release of Armenian-origin convict, Hampig Sassounian, who killed Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan in Los Angeles on January 28, 1982.

"We strongly condemn and reject the decision, which can be appealed and is subject to the approval of the California governor," the ministry said in a statement.

"This decision, which paves the way for the release of the murderer of our diplomat who was martyred on his duty, contradicts the principles of universal law and justice, and is not compatible with the spirit of cooperation in the fight against terrorism," it added.

An Armenian militant group had killed 31 Turkish diplomats across the world between 1973 and 1986. The assassinations took place in the US, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Portugal, Iran, and the UK.

Turkey continues to pay tribute to Arikan and other Turkish diplomats and citizens who were victims of terrorism, the statement added.

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