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Turkey court adjourns trial into worst mining disaster

Forty-five people are standing trial, including eight former top managers from the Soma Komur group who ran the mine

Published: Updated:

Dozens of suspects went on trial Monday over modern Turkey’s worst mining disaster that left 301 miners dead last year, but the process was rapidly adjourned for two days to allow the chief accused to appear before the court.

The trial, which is expected to be lengthy, opened at a court specially created for the process around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Soma in western Turkey in the town of Akhisar, an AFP correspondent reported.

Forty-five people are standing trial, including eight former top managers from the Soma Komur group who ran the mine and are charged with murder.

But for security reasons, the judge had ruled the eight former managers, who are in custody in Izmir, give their statements via video-link. A giant screen was set up in the court for this purpose.

However lawyers for the victims immediately argued that the eight should be brought to the court in Akhisar, and look those who lost their loved ones in the eyes.

After angry protests from the victims’ families, the judge agreed to their demand and adjourned the trial until Wednesday to allow the eight main accused to appear personally in court.