Suspect in murder of 3 PKK members in Paris dead

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The sole suspect in the 2013 murders of three PKK members in Paris has died in hospital, Anadolu news agency reported yesterday. Ömer Güney was detained by the French police soon after Sakine Cansız, Leyla Söylemez and Fidan Doğan were gunned down on Jan. 9, 2013 at a Kurdish information center, which in reality was functioning as a PKK bureau. French officials at the time said Güney worked for Cansız as a driver and assistant. Cansız was one of the founders of the PKK, recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and U.S.

According to the French BFM news channel, 34-year-old Güney died Saturday from a brain disease. He was known to have suffered from a brain tumor over the past few years. The trial was supposed to begin on Jan. 23, 2017.

When he was first arrested, unsubstantiated reports in the French media linked Güney to Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which French authorities later said was mistaken.

Turkey denied Güney ever had links to the MİT, while the French prosecutors investigating the murders said in the indictment that they had found no evidence that the MİT helped Güney in any way.

The investigation also resulted in several open disagreements between French and Turkish authorities. Some French officials accused Turkey of a lack of cooperation while Turkish officials that talked to Sabah daily last year denied the claim, saying that they had sent three folders full of documents regarding Güney and their inquiries into further cooperation was rejected by their French counterparts.

The murders are believed to be the result of infighting in the organization, with Cansız known to have had several disagreements with senior PKK officials over the years. Güney was also in contact with someone in Germany who French authorities suspect of being instrumental in the attack. Soren Seelow, a French journalist covering the case, told AA that this person, who Germany did not allow to be interviewed, might be connected to German intelligence.

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