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Turkish televangelist jailed 8,658 years for sexual assault

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A court in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday sentenced a Muslim televangelist, Adnan Oktar, to 8,658 years for sexual assault.

The sentencing followed his conviction for sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, fraud and attempted political and military espionage.

Local media said the 66-year-old who was famous for surrounding himself with scantily clad women whom he “called kittens,” had earlier been sentenced to 1,075 years for the crimes.

But in a retrial, the earlier sentence was overturned and he was given the new long term.

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During his time, Oktar led television programmes surrounded by women wearing lots of makeup and little clothes as he preached creationism and conservative values.

10 of his followers who were standing trial with him were also sentenced to 8,658 years in prison each.

Oktar, whom critics see as the leader of a cult, gained notoriety for his programmes on the online A9 television channel and had regularly been denounced by Turkish religious leaders.

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He was arrested in 2018 in a major crackdown on his group and taken into custody in Istanbul as part of a probe by the city’s police financial crimes unit.

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