Man takes selfie with wife on edge of cliff then pushes her off for insurance cash

Man takes selfie with wife on edge of cliff then pushes her off for insurance cash

A man who pushed his pregnant wife off a cliff to cash in on their accident insurance and seven loans he had taken out for her has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Hakan Aysal, 40, and his seven-months-pregnant wife Semra Aysal, 32, were on holiday in Butterfly Valley in the district of Fethiye, in the south-eastern Turkish province of Mugla, when the incident occurred, in June 2018.

Man takes selfie with wife on edge of cliff then pushes her off for insurance cash.
The image of the couple

Police accused the husband of pushing his wife off the cliff – and he has now been found guilty of murder.

Suspicions were raised after photos of the couple atop the cliff were shared in news reports, jogging the memory of another tourist at the scene at the time who had filmed them because he had thought the man was acting strangely.

Recep Sahin, who filmed the footage where Semra was seen for the last time atop the cliff moments before her death, took the stand at a previous hearing.

He told the court: “I stopped there to see the view of Kabak Bay with my family.

“My daughter was filming the view with my phone and the Aysal couple came down the slope at that moment.

“We even joked, ‘either this man will throw the woman off or the woman will throw the man’. There was no interaction between them.”

Another witness said the defendant appeared calm after the incident, while the emergency services were on the scene.

“I was driving there when I saw someone was waving at me, and I stopped,” he said.

“Hakan came and said his wife had fallen down the cliff. We immediately got out of the car and started looking for her, but we couldn’t see where she would have landed from where we were.”

He added: “We tried to get closer to the edge for a better look. Hakan did not come with us down there. We stayed there until the gendarmerie arrived. Hakan was very carefree and calm. He was not acting like a man whose wife just had fallen off a cliff.”

The charge sheet against the husband for the crime of “deliberate murder” said he had “planned the murder of his wife by first taking out a personal accident insurance on her behalf with a guarantee of TRY 400,000 (£21,700) and where the only beneficiary was himself”.

The charge sheet also stated that Hakan claimed the full insurance payout shortly after the incident. However, it was declined when the investigation was announced.

The victim’s older brother, Naim Yolcu, said in a previous hearing: “When we went to the Forensic Medicine Institute to get the body, Hakan was sitting in the car. My family and I were destroyed, but Hakan did not even appear sad.”

He added: “My sister was always against taking out loans. However, after she died, we learned she had loans taken out by Hakan on behalf of my sister. Also, Hakan had a fear of heights. What extreme sport is she going to be doing when she is scared of heights?”

Local media reported that bank reports requested by the court showed that Hakan had taken out a total of seven loans on Semra’s behalf.

When asked about the insurance in a previous hearing, Hakan told the court: “I have been interested in extreme sports since 2014: parachuting, bungee jumping, rafting.

“That is why I took out life insurance before I got married.”

Hakan’s social media account showed countless photos of his apparently high-flying lifestyle in which he travelled all around the country and stayed in top hotels abroad.

He was asked about the article in the accident insurance stating that “in the case of Semra Aysal’s death, her heir will be her husband, Hakan Aysal. In the case of Hakan Aysal’s death, his heirs will be his relatives”.

He said: “I did not examine the policy closely. The banker arranged the paperwork. I just brought it to my wife to get it signed. I was not aware there was such an article.”

Hakan denied being responsible for Semra’s death, telling the court at the time: “After taking a photo, my wife put the phone in her bag. Later, she asked me to give her the phone.

“I got up and then heard my wife scream behind me when I walked a few steps away to get the phone from her bag. When I turned back, she was not there. I did not push my wife.”

At the decision hearing on February 15, the court decided by a majority of votes to sentence the defendant to aggravated life imprisonment.

This means he will only be eligible for parole after serving at least 30 years.

The presiding judge used his vote to acquit the defendant, but was in the minority.

Following the hearing, Naim told reporters that the family had trusted the justice system since the outset and that justice had finally been served.

He added: “Our pain is great, but we have been relieved a little with the punishment given. He could not get away with the murder. No one will get away with femicide in Turkey.”

Femicide is a growing problem in Turkey, particularly after the country officially quit the Istanbul Convention in July last year.

SEE ALSO : When Megan’s insurance is running out her husband sells house with her inside

According to the 2021 Annual Data Report by the ‘We Will Stop Femicide Platform’, 280 women were killed by men in 2021, while 217 women were found suspiciously dead.

Man takes selfie with wife on edge of cliff then pushes her off for insurance cash

Credit : Mirror