The defendants, Syrian nationals Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad, denied any responsibility in the migrants’ deaths in their opening hearing, the private Dogan news agency reported. Instead, they blamed Aylan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, for the deaths — accusing him of organizing the trip and of sailing the boat.
Abdullah Kurdi has since returned to Syria.
Five months after the image of little Alan Kurdi lying face-down on a beach in Turkey shocked the world into taking action on the Syrian refugee crisis, two men are now on trial in connection with his death.
Alan’s father is also being tried.
It isn’t clear exactly what charges he’s facing. He’s being tried in absentia.
Alan Kurdi’s father not a people smuggler, family says
Zainab Abbas, who lost two children of her own in the tragedy — her nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter — told Ten News that Kurdi was part of the group that took US $10,000 from her to transport her family of five.
Now in Iraq and hoping to be granted asylum in Australia, Abbas gives her account of the dreadful capsizing of the boat, and the moment she felt her daughter’s hand slipping from her grasp.
She says that boat was too full and there were not enough life jackets to go around. She also states clearly that Abdullah Kurdi was in charge.