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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Verdict delayed in Leeds death trial
Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus
Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus
The verdict in the trial in Turkey of six men accused of being involved in the murder of two Leeds United supporters has been postponed until next month.

Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight were stabbed in Istanbul during disturbances the night before their team played a Uefa Cup semi-final against Galatasaray in 2000.

One man has been charged with murder while five others are accused of involvement in the killings.

A verdict was expected on Thursday, but one of the defence lawyers was too ill to attend and the case was adjourned until 1 May 2002.

Slow pace

Mr Loftus, 37, and Mr Speight, a 40-year-old father-of-two, were stabbed when trouble flared almost two years ago to the day.

Despite a number of men being arrested soon after the attacks, the case has moved at a slow pace.

This is the fifth time the trial has been adjourned.

It is not unusual for defendants to spend years on remand waiting for their cases to work their way through the Turkish courts.

Turkish police originally charged 19 men with involvement in the affray which later led to fans' deaths.

Defence lawyers have challenged prosecution evidence and argued drunken behaviour by Leeds fans provoked the trouble.

The BBC's Nick Walton
"The trial failed to reach a verdict for the sixth successive time"
Philip Howell, lawyer for Mr Speight's widow Susan
"I would have expected a decision six months ago"

Click here to go to Leeds
See also:

11 Feb 02 | Europe
Turkish justice moves slowly
24 Dec 01 | Europe
Leeds deaths trial adjourned
23 May 00 | Europe
Turkish soccer death trial begins
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Fans' anguish at deaths
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