The US Department of State expressed deep disappointment by the expected grant of parole in the State of California of Hampig “Harry” Sassounian, who was convicted of the 1982 murder of Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Kemal Arikan, Trend reports citing US Dept. of State’s statement.
“Attacking a diplomat is not only a grave crime against a particular individual, it is also an attack on diplomacy itself. To ensure the safety of the dedicated U.S. diplomats serving around the world, it has been the longstanding position of the United States to advocate that those who assassinate diplomats receive the maximum sentence possible, and that they serve those sentences without parole or early release,” the statement said.
“We again offer our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Arikan and our colleagues at Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their loss,” the statement said.
Arikan, Turkey’s Consul General in Los Angeles, was killed on Jan. 28, 1982, by Sassounian and his accomplice Krikor Saliba on behalf of an Armenian terror group. Sassounian was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement on the Los Angeles County Superior Court recently ruling in favor of release of Hampig Sassounian.
The ministry said that releasing admitted and unreformed terrorist Sassounian convicted of murdering a diplomat would send a very wrong message and surely harm interests of diplomacy, especially in a state with one of the world’s largest diplomatic corps.
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