Court orders rehearing of cat murder case amid public outcry

A man who kicked a cat to death is facing a retrial as a local court overturns his reduced sentence for fatally abusing the animal amid public outcry.

In an apartment complex in Istanbul's Başakşehir district, residents sheltered a kitten they named Eros with love. According to video footage, on Jan. 1, İbrahim Keloğlan callously kicked the cat to death, inflicting six minutes of torture.

Upon finding the cat's body, shocked residents filed complaints about Keloğlan, leading to his arrest and subsequent trial. The Küçükçekmece Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced Keloğlan to a reduced sentence of one year and three months, postponing the announcement of the verdict.

The initial justification, citing Keloğlan's remorse and lack of prior offenses, sparked widespread outrage, with over 250,000 social media posts condemning the verdict and prompting protests and petitions for a retrial.

Lawyer Merve Poyraz Özcan, who filed complaints against Keloğlan, stated, "When considering the defendant's intention to kill Eros, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

The fourth Heavy Penal Court in Küçükçekmece swiftly intervened following public outcry, overturning the decision and paving the way for a retrial.

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç announced in a social media post that the case against Keloğlan will be retried.

"The Heavy Penal Court has overturned the decision upon the appeal made by the prosecutor's office. The case will be retried by the court," Tunç said.

Emphasizing that "the right to life of every living being is sacred," the minister pledged to stand against the mistreatment of animals.

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