Shooting of toddler in Turkey cited as murder

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A man accused of shooting a British toddler in a gunfight in a Turkish café will be charged with deliberately killing the youngster, a Turkish court decided yesterday.

A man accused of shooting a British toddler in a gunfight in a Turkish café will be charged with deliberately killing the youngster, a Turkish court decided yesterday.

Two-year-old Alistair Grimason had been sleeping in a buggy when he was killed by a stray bullet after shooting broke out in the café in the Aegean tourist resort of Foca last July.

Daimi Akyuz, who is accused of firing the shot, claimed his gun fired by mistake when he pulled it out to scare a man he was fighting. Six shots were fired. A Turkish man, Ali Bektas, was also killed, and two others were injured.

But Alistair's family, who travelled to Turkey for yesterday's hearing, said a Turkish judge had ruled that the charge against Mr Akyuz should be changed from accidental murder to murder. If convicted of both murders, Mr Akyuz would face up 50 years in prison.

Alistair's grandfather David Grimason said: "We are all very pleased with the outcome today. "Hopefully [Mr Akyuz] will get the maximum sentence and we can go to Alistair and tell him that he can never harm him or any other kiddie again," he said.

Since the killing, Alistair's parents, David and Ozlem Grimason, have been lobbying for stricter gun laws in Turkey. A licence is required to carry a gun, but experts say smuggled weapons are readily available.

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