Prime suspect in the murder of Nigerian student, Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede denied involvement, give details in court

Nidai Şanlı, one of Turkish students facing trial for the murder of Nigerian student, Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede as the number one defendant has denied all the charges brought against him.

The Famagusta Heavy Penal Court resumed the murder hearing regarding the death of Nigerian student, Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, who was forcibly kidnapped from his home and beaten to death in Çanakkale Pond, in Famagusta in January 2018, after a long break continued on Monday from where it was left off.

Senior Prosecutor Mustafa İldeniz, who carried out the case on behalf of the Prosecutor's Office and lawyers who defended the accused and the defendants were present at the Famagusta Assize Court, consisting of Mayor Fatma Şenol, Senior Judge Ayşen Toroslu and Judge Hazan Aksun.    

Lawyer Özkul Özdevrim defends defendants Nidai Şanlı, Ozan Körkurt and Onur Körkurt, lawyer İbrahim Demirtaş defends Simge Dağdur, and lawyer Mustafa Kocatürk defends Zekeriya Kurucu.  

At the hearing, lawyer Ulaş Sabancı called his client Nidai Şanlı to testify as his first witness. Nidai Şanlı denied all the charges against him, claiming that the other defendants were trying to put the murder on himself.    

Şanlı claimed that he had no contact with Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede who was beaten and killed with kick, slap, punch, stone and electro shock device, neither in his apartment where he was staying nor in the pond.

Nidai Şanlı, who argued that if he had beaten and killed Dede as the other defendants claimed, there would be blood and mud stains on him adding that the other defendants imagined what they did and told them as if he had done it.    

Nidai Şanlı, who explained that he came from Southern Cyprus, where he went to after the incident and had a Greek identity and passport with him, and surrendered to the police to clear himself, once said that he had no contact with anyone.    

Nidai Şanlı continued as follows:   

I had to get a thousand dollars from Kennedy. The person named A., who owns the vehicle, called me. He said your money is ready. I became a mediator, he said. Don't stay in between, go and get it. I went there was not at home. I stopped taking it. I get honor. We will go home with Simge, we need it. He said let me talk. They came to the apartment. Kennedy, Ozan and Onur got into the car. Two cars drove in the lake. Kennedy opened the car and tried to escape. The bard hired. They lowered it in the lake with honor. I got off too, then the parking lights of the car were on. I went upstairs, closed it. There was tobacco, I rolled cigarettes. The icon screamed downstairs. How could you hit my boyfriend's foot ... Voices were coming. I went again. I saw Simge and Onur go arm in arm and hit Kennedy, who was collapsed on his knees. I shouted what are you trying to do. I said come to yourself. Icon took a large stone in his hand. He hit Kennedy's head twice. When he shouted, he stopped shooting the third and threw the stone. Simge and Onur were the last to leave Kennedy. I did not touch.

Stating that Zekeriya, one of the suspects, did not go down to the lake side, Nidai Şanlı reiterated that she was not guilty.    

The delegation postponed the case before it to hear from where it left off. 

Story so far and how it happened
Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, an Architecture student at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta was kidnapped by a group of 7 gang members on January, 29 from his residence in Famagusta and taken to the Çanakkale lake in the outskirt of the city where he was seriously beaten and killed.

His body was left half naked with half in and outside the Çanakkale Pond.

Kennedy's body found on the Çanakkale pond
Following the incident, 7 suspects namely; Ozan Korkurt, 18, Zekeriya Founder, 22, Burcu Çelik, 16, Onur Körkurt, 21, Simge Dağdur, 28, Aydan Sel and Nidai Şanlı, 28 were arrested in connection with the murder and charged to court for murder, human abduction and serious assault.

The suspects
Police investigation later revealed that Kennedy was murdered over 1000TL loan. During the investigation, police said they gathered over 190 statements and testimonies, retrieved deleted messages and screened 142 phone conversations.

Two of the accused, Zanlılar Aydan Sel and Burcu Çelik were released on bail following weeks of court appearance and ordered to pay a bail bond over the case of negligence brought against them for not preventing such a serious crime.

Five other accused, Nidai Sanli, Ozan Korkurt, Onur Körkurt, Simge Dağdur and Zekeriya Kurucu, who have been standing trial in court and imprisoned for months, denied the accusations brought against them. 

On how he was killed -
He was beaten up for not paying for the drug substance he had bought to sell. The suspects took Kennedy to the meeting area at the Çanakkale Pond and according to him, they did not intend to kill him. He said they hit him on the head but Kennedy could not withstand it as it was pretty intense and gave up the ghost.

At that time, the incident was being recorded on a phone by Aydin Sel who told and sent the video to somebody who then reported the matter to the police.

When Aydan Sel found out that the police were looking for him, he tried to escape to south Cyprus where he was caught by the police.

Nigerian students protest his killing in Famagusta
His death caused great tension and unrest in the region for more than two weeks with series of protest organized by students demanding justice.

Kennedy representing EMU in a sporting event
Kennedy had represented and won medals for the university in several sporting events.

Court hearing in November
In a November court hearing, the police gave the court six statements on the issue.

One of the witnesses who witness the abduction of Kennedy from his apartment said Kennedy had shouted for help while struggling with one of the four people who had kidnapped him.

The witness who is a neighbor to Kennedy told a Famagusta court on Friday that he was standing in his balcony when the whole incident unraveled.

After swearing to the court that he would tell what he knew, the witness said that while he was at home with his wife and children, he went out to the balcony to know what was happening after he heard sounds out side.

He said he saw Kennedy being taken out of the apartment and into a waiting car.

He said he saw one of the men hit Kennedy with anger shouting and issuing a threat, "You will pay the price of this heavy mess."

After that, the whole place was dark and could only hear the echo of Kennedy's voice.

He told the court that he didn't care when he first heard the noise but had to check when the noise kept increasing.

He said he saw three people beat him while he was crying and begging for help. It was after then that Kennedy collapsed and the noise seized.

They then put Kennedy in the car and quickly got away. 

They were all men, I couldn't see what they were wearing. They disappeared, the whole neighborhood was on the balcony, we looked at it in shock.

A police officer who testified in court, told the court that he was on duty at the Traffic Investigation Department of Famagusta Police Department when he found out about the incident.

On January 30, 2018, at 6.10pm, I was at the Dardanelles. I saw the corpse lying on his back on the edge of the pond, with his head facing down, half naked from the waist down, his left hand on his forehead, his right hand on his chest, and later I learned that his name was Kennedy T.

Taking the necessary measurements at the scene, I drew the rough outline. Then I took the scale of the sketch and gave it to Inspector Erkan Yahat. 

He was killed 32-36 hours before the autopsy time said police witness.

According to forensic report, the victim suffered head and chest trauma, brain hemorrhage as a result of the joint effect of the left pneumothorax.

He also noted that there was a sharp stabbing device and wound.

We hope justice is finally served!

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