Erdogan guards face three new indictments over Washington DC brawl

Turkey’s present state of emergency allows President Erdogan to rule by decree despite the fact that his role is largely ceremonial

The US Justice Department charged three more bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for assaulting protesters in Washington in May in a brawl that marred an official White House visit.

The goons are accused of conspiring to attack Armenian and Kurdish demonstrators - which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison - as well as assaulting USA law enforcement who tried to intervene.

16 of those charged had previously been indicted on June 13, with an additional 3, all Turkish security, added on Tuesday. Two Turkish-American businessmen were arrested in June for their roles in the daylight attack on protestors and face an initial court hearing on September 7.

The violence kicked off just after Erdogan arrived at the residence during his first visit to the US following President Trump's election. Nine people were injured in the melee.

The district attorney levelled 21 counts of assault and hate crimes based on the victims' ethnicity.

Two Turkish bodyguards were briefly detained after the incident. All but two of the people indicted Tuesday remain at large.

German challenger Schulz slams Merkel as aloof as campaign heats up
But the 63-year-old has lashed out at critics, admitting she would react "the same way again" if a similar crisis erupted. Merkel is cruising toward re-election in September after overcoming criticism of her handling of the migrant crisis.

Andy Murray latest Open casualty
Murray has not played since Wimbledon, when he was hampered by the hip injury as he lost to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals. Open, saying a nagging left hip injury has left him unable to compete in the year's final Grand Slam tournament.

Israeli MP Yehuda Glick visits Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem
Netanyahu on Monday night, after meeting Guterres earlier in the day, again spoke of not removing settlements. Peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in 2014.

The Turkish Embassy claimed the protesters, who were located across the street from the Embassy, were members of a terror group.

Despite the indictments, it is unlikely that most of the defendants will face actual jail time.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said at the time that Erdogan's security team moved in to disperse the protesters because "police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene".

USA officials have strongly condemned the attack but Turkey argued that the security guards have diplomatic immunity. Turkey's ambassador to the USA was also summoned to the State Department to discuss the incident. "The members and associates of the conspiracy used threats and physical violence-intensely kicking at protesters-to dispel the anti-Erdoğan protesters, attack the anti-Erdoğan protesters, and blatantly ignore American law enforcement commands to cease the violence".

The indictment characterizes the protesters as anti-Erdogan, some of whom were Kurdish and calling for the release of an imprisoned leader of a pro-Kurdish political party, the HDP.

All 19 are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years.