A Turkish man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for pushing his seven-month-pregnant wife off a cliff in order to claim money from her accident insurance.
Hakan Aysal, 40, and his wife Semra Aysal, 32, were visiting the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye, Turkey, on holiday in June 2018 when the two took a selfie at the top of a breathtaking mountain edge.
Hakan Took Out Wife's Insurance Policy Just Before Her Death
Prosecutors alleged that the couple spent hours sitting on top of the cliff because Aysal was waiting to be alone before pushing Semra off the cliff. Semara was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the valley on June 19, 2018.
Aysal told police that his wife slipped while they were taking photos and that her death was accidental. However, prosecutors alleged that just before her death, Aysal took out a personal accident insurance policy worth nearly $29,500 on Semra's behalf in which he was the sole beneficiary.
"He took her to a part of the valley people do not frequent much and kept her waiting there for hours. He claimed he did not see how his wife fell but his statement is not convincing," the prosecutor said in his final plea to the court for sentencing.
Eyewitness Recorded Hakan Luring Wife to Cliff's Edge
Police became suspicious of Hakan after photos of the couple atop the cliff emerged, prompting a witness to come forth with video evidence. In February 2021, Turkish news outlets obtained the footage recorded by another tourist that showed Hakan allegedly luring Semra to the edge of the cliff for a selfie before her death.
The tourist started recording the couple after he thought Aysal was acting strangely. In November, Aysal was arrested and charged with premeditated murder, but he denied the charges. Hakan claimed that after the selfie, Semra asked him to grab her cell phone out of his bag. He said as he got up to grab his bag, he heard her scream and when he looked back she wasn't there.
Although Hakan denied being involved in the death of his wife, he was found guilty of the charges on Tuesday. According to local outlets was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. The sentence means that Aysal will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least 30 years.