A man imprisoned for stabbing a rising star boxer to death makes a legal attempt to overturn his conviction.
Orhan Koca pleaded guilty to the murder of 22-year-old Eamonn Magee Jr. outside a home in West Belfast in May 2015.
But the Turkish citizen claimed today that he was forced to confess.
Judges on the Court of Appeals listed his appeal against the conviction for a full hearing early next year.
Koca, 39, is currently serving a minimum 14-year prison sentence for the murder of a friend of his estranged wife.
Mr. Maggie was stabbed six times during the deadly attack at Summerhill Park in the Toynbrook area.
Kuka was jealous when he armed himself and went to his family’s former home with the intention of killing the engineering student and personal trainer, according to a previous court hearing.
The waiter was said to have possessed his ex-partner, and became aggressive if she attracted the attention of other men.
She established a new relationship with Mr. Maggie after they met at the gym where he worked.
The young boxer also hoped to follow in the footsteps of his father – former welterweight champion Eamonn Magee Sr.
Brutal and sustainable
Kocaeli initially denied carrying out the killing, claiming that he panicked and rushed towards what he believed to be a house intruder with a pair of garden shears.
But after pleading guilty, the judge who imprisoned him declared that it was a «pre-planned murder that was brutal and ongoing.»
Representing himself, Kocaeli appeared away from prison for today’s preliminary hearing in the Court of Appeals.
He made unsubstantiated allegations that the confessions were made without access to an interpreter.
«I am not guilty of the charges because I have been forced to plead guilty,» he claimed.
«That’s discrimination… you should never treat a human being that way, especially a foreigner who doesn’t understand English.»
Koca urged senior judges to help him obtain legal representation in his case.
However, Lord Justice McCluskey told him: «We do not have the power to do so. The only person who can hire a lawyer is you.»
Granting permission to proceed with the appeal against the conviction, the judge confirmed that a one-day hearing would take place in January.
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