Ten Turkish stabbings suspects released

Click to follow

Turkish authorities have freed 10 youths who were arrested in connection with the stabbing of two Leeds United football fans in Istanbul, but they could still face charges later.

Eight other men were still being interrogated by prosecutors, according to local television reports.

The slain fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, perished on the night before Leeds United played Turkey's Galatasaray in a UEFA cup game. Galatasaray beat Leeds 2-0.

All 18 suspects were brought before prosecutors on Monday, and the 10, including five juveniles, were freed without any immediate charges.

Of the eight still being interrogated, prosecutors were expected to charge four in the stabbing and four others with involvement in the fatal clash.

The Anatolia news agency quoted one of the suspects as saying the Leeds fans provoked the violence by burning a Turkish flag.

Police identified some of the suspects from film footage of the clashes, and at least one reportedly confessed.

Newspapers said at least five of the suspects had criminal records including knife assaults, theft, and selling tickets on the black market.

Leeds wants European soccer officials to ban Galatasaray supporters from the rematch in Leeds on April 20. Galatasaray says the game should be played at a neutral venue. A decision was expected soon.

Galatasaray officials are angry at Leeds for warning fans against going to the match.

"The suspects are in the hands of justice...and will be punished," said Galatasaray Chairman Faruk Suren. "The issue should not be turned into a blood feud."