A Turkish court on Friday sentenced two Syrian smugglers to four years and two months each in prison over the deaths of 5 people including 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who galvanized world attention on the refugee crisis when a photo was published of him lying lifeless on a beach.
The court in the Aegean resort of Bodrum convicted the two of human trafficking but acquitted them of the charge of causing the drowning deaths through deliberate negligence, the agency said.
.The defendants, Syrian nationals Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad, had denied any responsibility in the migrants’ deaths. Instead, they blamed Aylan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, for the deaths — accusing him of organizing the trip.
The court initially sentenced them to five years in prison each, but then reduced the term to four years and two months due to the defendants’ good behavior during the trial and other legal reductions. The pair can appeal their conviction.