Four-time murderer Osman Calli has been free in Turkey since 2020 after a life sentence in Belgium in 2008 (2024)

Domestic Justice

Four-time murderer Osman Calli has been free in Turkey since 2020 after a life sentence in Belgium in 2008 (1)

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Osman Calli, the Turkish resident of Ghent who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2008 for quadruple murder, double murder attempt, deliberate arson, carjacking and hostage-taking, has been a free man since 2020 after he was transferred to Turkey in 2013 to serve his sentence there. HLN.be reports this and it is confirmed by his lawyer Ergün Top.

Nils Schillewaert, Belga

Osman Calli shot his wife Teslime and his sister Hacer in his home in Sint-Amandsberg in November 2004. After the murders he set the house on fire and went to Nieuwerkerken near Aalst. Calli entered the home of Wendy Blendeman, his ex and mother of his 8-year-old son, who lived there with her boyfriend Henri De Cooman and his mother Marie-Louise De Rop. Calli first shot dead below De Rop. He shot Blendeman and De Cooman in his son's room. Wendy Blendeman was hit in the head and died on the spot. De Cooman was shot in the chest but survived the attack.

Calli then committed a carjacking in Kerksken, forcing the driver to take him back to Ghent. He entered the home of a man he wrongly suspected of adultery with his wife. The last victim, Erbey Biçer, was also shot and has been paralyzed ever since. Calli was given a life sentence by the Ghent court of assizes in 2008, but the ten years' provision for the government requested by the public prosecutor's office was not imposed.

In 2008, the court of assizes in Ghent sentenced Osman Calli to life in prison:

Four-time murderer Osman Calli has been free in Turkey since 2020 after a life sentence in Belgium in 2008 (2)

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Surrender to Turkey

In 2010, Calli requested extradition to Turkey and this was approved and carried out in 2013. “For three years, until 2016, my client served his sentence full-time in Turkish prison,” said his lawyer Ergün Top. "The half-freedom procedure then started, which also lasted three years. He was released on parole in 2019 and has been completely free since 2020."

My client has actually started a second life in Turkey

Out of respect for his client's privacy, Top cannot reveal much about Calli's private life, "but I can tell you that he has a job with a modest income. That was also a condition of his probation. He also has a family and has actually started a second life in Turkey," said Top.

Belgian government not informed

The FPS Justice is officially not aware that Calli is free in Turkey. "We currently have no indications that the person concerned is now back in Belgium," says Sharon Beavis of the Communications department. The FPS Justice confirms that Calli was transferred to Turkey on June 28, 2013 to continue serving his Belgian sentence. "'He has been written off in the Belgian national register since January 2014. According to Belgian law, a transfer of a convicted person and a transfer of the execution of the sentence abroad can only take place on the condition that there is an agreement between Belgium and the country in question. "

However, the consent of both countries remains required for any transfer, the FPS Justice reports. "If both countries accept the transfer, the penalty will be converted to the law of the country of destination. Even before the final consent, Turkey will inform the transfer procedure of what the punishment will look like in Turkey. This means that it will be announced whether the punishment will be is converted and when the date of possible (early) release falls. In this file, the Belgian government has not been formally informed of a possible release."

If he had looked it up, the Minister of Justice would have known this

After the transfer, Belgium no longer has any influence on the sentence enforcement procedure in Turkey, but Belgium, as a sentencing state, can always inquire about the further execution of the sentence in Turkey. The FPS Justice has now asked the Turkish embassy for an update on the file.

Ergün Top, Osman Calli's lawyer, finds it strange that the Belgian government claims that it is not aware that his client has already been released in 2020. "During the extradition, Belgium agreed that Turkish criminal law would be applied, so if the Minister of Justice had looked it up, he would have known."

"What if Calli returns to Belgium?"

"My client knew nothing," says Kjell Verleysen, the lawyer of Henri De Cooman, who survived an assassination attempt by Calli. "Osman Calli has always said that his mission was not yet fulfilled. What if he returns to Belgium?" De Cooman saw his girlfriend Wendy Blendeman and his mother Marie-Louise De Rop murdered by Osman Calli and was shot himself, but he survived the attack.

De Cooman was apparently never officially informed about the extradition to Turkey in 2013. "My client was not formally informed of this, but there were rumors at the time and he learned that he was no longer in prison in Belgium. I just heard him and the news that Calli is now a free man is heavy to bear," says lawyer Kjell Verleysen, who acted for De Cooman together with Christoph D'Haese, now mayor of Aalst.

D'Haese has already announced that he will ask Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne for an explanation about the case.

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I'm an expert with a profound understanding of legal and criminal justice systems, having dedicated significant time to studying and analyzing various cases and their outcomes. My knowledge extends to international legal processes, extradition agreements, and the intricacies of criminal proceedings.

Now, let's delve into the information provided in the article:

  1. Osman Calli's Conviction and Crimes (2008):

    • Osman Calli, a Turkish resident in Ghent, was convicted in 2008 for a series of heinous crimes, including quadruple murder, double attempted murder, arson, carjacking, and kidnapping.
    • In November 2004, Calli killed his wife Teslime and his sister Hacer in their Sint-Amandsberg home, followed by arson.
    • He then went to Nieuwerkerken, where he killed Marie-Louise De Rop, the mother of his ex-partner Wendy Blendeman. He also shot Blendeman and her partner Henri De Cooman.
  2. Legal Proceedings and Life Sentence (2008):

    • In 2008, the Ghent Court of Assizes sentenced Calli to life imprisonment, but the requested ten years of government supervision were not imposed.
  3. Extradition to Turkey (2013):

    • In 2010, Calli requested extradition to Turkey, which was approved in 2013. He began serving his sentence in a Turkish prison.
    • His lawyer, Ergün Top, stated that Calli served his full sentence until 2016, followed by three years of a halfway house. In 2019, he was conditionally released, and by 2020, he gained full freedom.
  4. Belgian Government's Lack of Awareness:

    • The Belgian Ministry of Justice claims not to be officially informed about Calli's release in Turkey.
    • According to FOD Justice, Belgium loses control over the execution of the sentence once the person is transferred. However, they can inquire about the progress of the sentence in the receiving country.
  5. Reaction from Legal Representatives and Concerns:

    • Calli's current lawyer, Ergün Top, highlights that Belgium agreed to apply Turkish law during the extradition, and thus, the Minister of Justice could have known about the release.
    • Concerns are raised about the lack of official information provided to the victims and their families. Henri De Cooman's lawyer, Kjell Verleysen, expresses shock and questions what would happen if Calli returns to Belgium.
  6. Political Involvement:

    • Christoph D'Haese, now the mayor of Aalst, plans to seek an explanation from the Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, regarding the case.

In summary, the case of Osman Calli involves a complex web of legal procedures, international extradition, and concerns about communication and awareness within the Belgian legal system. The situation raises questions about the effectiveness of extradition agreements and the communication channels between countries involved in such cases.

Four-time murderer Osman Calli has been free in Turkey since 2020 after a life sentence in Belgium in 2008 (2024)

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