Suspect Says Doesn’t Recall Attacking Armenian Women

The Church of Saint George in Samatya, until recently a predominantly Armenian neighborhood of Istanbul dating back to 1458

ISTANBUL—The only suspect in the murder of Maritsa Küçük, a Turkish-Armenian woman, has denied the allegations against him, saying he does not remember what happened, in contrast to an initial testimony in which he said he might have murdered her, Radikal news agency reports.

Suspect Murat Nazarian, 38, said during the case’s second hearing on Aug. 14 that he did not remember any events, adding that the initial testimony in the police station was taken under “psychological oppression.”

Küçük, 84, was stabbed seven times before her throat was slit at her home in Istanbul’s Samatya neighborhood on Dec. 28, 2012.

Two other attacks were carried out in the same month against elderly Armenian women in the Samatya and Bakirköy districts as well.

An Istanbul court decided to arrest Nazarian on charges of “intended murder,” after police detained him in Istanbul’s Fatih district on assault charges in connection with the attacks on Armenian women.

Nazarian, also a Turkish citizen of Armenian origin, was ultimately detained as a suspect in five attacks on March 2 when one of the victims identified him.

Blood on an envelope found on Küçük’s bag allegedly belongs to Nazarian, while another woman who survived an attack in Samatya identified him as the assailant, earlier reports said.

After the suspect’s blood samples matched the blood found on Küçük’s bag, he was questioned again. In his second questioning, he gave a detailed testimony about the incidents.

Küçük’s family members, including daughter Bayzar Midilli, sons Yaşar Küçük and Zadik Küçük, were also present at the courtroom.

Nazarian’s family has also denied the accusations. “We are also victims in this case. We want everything to come to light for our name to be absolved,” a family member said.

Nazarian has a criminal history of selling drugs and robbery.

The case has been postponed until Nov. 14 to allow the investigation to expand.

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