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Turkish killing trial is halted after Irish official takes photos

THE trial of the father and son accused of killing two Irish women was halted after a representative for the Irish Government was caught taking photos in court.

Recep Cetin (22) and his father Eyup Cetin face trial at the Fifth High Criminal Court in Izmir, Turkey, for the murder of friends Marian Graham and Kathy Dinsmore (both 53).

Families of the victims did not attend but the Irish Government was represented by Honorary Consul Bulent Akgerman.

In the second half of yesterday's hearing, Mr Akgerman was found taking photos with his mobile phone. Judges then ordered a lockdown of the courtroom and proceedings were brought to a halt.

Mr Akgerman apologised to the court, explaining he did not know it was forbidden to take photos during the hearing.

Earlier during the hearing, the court considered a crime scene investigation into the reliability of a secret witness.

This 'secret' witness claimed to have heard screaming and seen both accused covered in blood in the woods where the bodies of the two Irish women were found.

Eyup Cetin denied the secret witness was really present at the scene of the killings.

He said: "I have nothing to do with the murders.

"If I had anything to do with it I would have fled."

Recep Cetin also said he did not believe the secret witness was present at the scene.

"I don't defend my father and I am not trying to take the blame on myself," said Recep.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that the court had been suspended because a "heated atmosphere" had developed involving relatives of Cetin.

She confirmed that the Irish Consul had taken photographs but this was to document what was going on.

When the judge pointed out to him that this was not allowed, the consul offered to delete the photographs, which he then did.

The spokeswoman stressed that the suspension of the court had nothing to do with the Consul taking photographs but was because of the atmosphere which had developed.

Marian Graham and her teenage daughter Shannon, now aged 17, regularly spent their summers in the Turkish resort.

Shannon met Recep Cetin on one of these trips and started a relationship with him.

In August 2011 neighbours report that Cetin was pressurising Shannon to marry him, with shouting sometimes heard late into the night.

The case was adjourned until May 15.