Cloud of murder suspicion hangs over pregnant woman’s ‘accidental’ death

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Turkish prosecutors filed an indictment against a man over the death of his pregnant wife near the famous Butterfly Valley in the Fethiye district of the southwestern province of Muğla, in what many fear could be yet another femicide.

On June 2018, 32-year-old Semra Aysal, who was seven months pregnant, reportedly fell off a 300-meter-high cliff after losing her balance while her husband was taking a picture of her sitting on a popular photo spot.

When her husband, Hakan Aysal, called emergency services, search and rescue teams were sent to the area, after which the woman and the unborn baby were pronounced dead.

As a result of the investigation, Hakan Aysal, 40, was detained and later arrested by a court in November 2020.

An indictment prepared by the prosecutors against Aysal for “premeditated murder” was accepted by the Fethiye High Criminal Court.

“In line with his plan, the defendant took out personal accident insurance on behalf of his wife, with a guarantee of 400,000 liras [$56,000], with the sole beneficiary being himself,” said the indictment, adding that he took his seven-month-old pregnant wife to the slope of the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye, where they came afterwards with the excuse of a holiday.

It was claimed in the indictment that the couple sat on the slope for about three hours and the defendant deliberately killed his wife by pushing her down the cliff when there was nobody in sight.

Hakan Aysal went to the insurance company to get the money in a short time after the incident, but the defendant’s application “was not accepted due to the investigation,” according to the indictment.

The prosecution also demanded that Aysal be tried with aggravated life sentence.

Hurriyet Daily News

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