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66-year-old preacher slapped with 8,658 years prison sentence

A court in Turkey has sentenced a televangelist to 8,658 years in prison over new charges after he was convicted of sexual assault and abuse of minors and sentenced to 1,075 years in 2018.

66-year-old preacher slapped with 8,658 years prison sentence

The convict, Adnan Oktar owned a television channel through which he delivered religious sermons. His religious views have led many to describe him as a cult leader.

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Notably, he is a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution and penned a book about creationism "The Atlas of Creation" to mock the former. The book received wide ridicule and criticism but this did not stop Oktar from shipping it, unrequested, to academics and libraries. He accused the Darwin theory of evolution of being the foundation of global terrorism.

He once referred to a group of women surrounding him as his "kittens".

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Oktar's views have earned him degrees of notoriety in Turkey and abroad. Prior to his arrest in 2018, along with hundreds of his followers, he had been arrested multiple times serving time in prison and a psychiatric unit.

His arrest in 2018 followed a litany of accusations, including running a criminal organisation, tax offences, sexual abuse, and counter-terrorism laws. However, Oktar told the press that the allegations were lies made up by a conspiracy against him. He frequently and strongly talked about "a game by the British deep state" which he blamed for the charges.

He was given 1,075 years in jail.

In January 2021, he was again convicted of 10 separate charges, including leading a criminal gang, engaging in political and military espionage, sexual abuse of minors, rape, blackmail and causing torment.

But a Court of Appeal ordered a retrial involving 215 new defendants. Oktar and ten of the 215 defendants have been given 8,658 years in prison while others received shorter terms.

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