Turkey on Wednesday welcomed a US governor’s decision to reject the parole request of Hampig Sassounian, an Armenian who assassinated a Turkish diplomat in Los Angeles in 1982.
“Turkey has welcomed this decision that shows once again that terrorism, which is the utmost point of hate speech and extremism in the world, will not go unpunished,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement, referring to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s denial of a parole request by Sassounian on Monday.
Newsom reversed the Board of Parole Hearings' decision which earlier found Sassounian suitable for parole.
"After reviewing and considering the evidence in the record, I believe that Mr. Sassounian must do additional work before he can be safely released. Accordingly, I find that he still poses an unreasonable danger to society if released and I reverse the Board’s decision to parole Mr. Sassounian," Newsom said.
Turkey’s Consul General in Los Angeles Kemal Arikan was martyred on Jan. 28, 1982 by Sassounian and Krikor Saliba in the name of an Armenian terror group. Sassounian was arrested and sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to the ministry.
Fugitive terrorist Saliba was claimed to be killed in the Lebanese civil war in 1982, it added.
“Terrorist Sassounian applied once again in 2019 to benefit from parole with an intention to force the US laws,” the ministry said, adding that a hearing on Dec. 27, 2019 found it suitable to release Sassounian.
“Our expectation of not applying this decision was submitted to the attention of the US authorities along with its reasons. The California Governorate denied the eligibility of parole request in its final decision on May 26, 2020,” the ministry said.
“This murder, which was rascally committed by the terrorist Sassounian and for which he has not shown any sign of regret during his imprisonment, will never be forgotten as a crime that reveals the terrible dimensions of a dreadful and distorted ideology,” it noted.
Taking the chance, the ministry once again wished Allah's mercy upon martyred diplomat and all other martyrs of terrorism.