Turkey tries Israel for killing nine peace activists on flotilla

Published 05.11.2012 00:00
Updated 05.11.2012 18:24

The trial for the Israeli military raid on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla headed for Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of nine Turks, begins tomorrow in Istanbul. The Turkish bar association will be assigning attorneys to defend the Israeli commanders in the trial to which Israel has not yet responded to.

The first hearing for a trial against the Israeli military commanders responsible for orchestrating the attack on the Mavi Marmara Gaza aid flotilla takes place tomorrow at the Istanbul Court of Justice; 30 months and six days after the raid killed nine on board.

Israel has dismissed the case opened against their top commanders by Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice. The court has since requested the Istanbul Bar Association send attorneys in order to represent the defense. The first attorney assigned by the bar was for Air Forces Intelligence head Avishai Levi.

The 109-page indictment prepared by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci lists 490 victims and complainants from 37 different countries. According to the indictment, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Naval Forces commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, Israel's military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and Air Forces Intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi are being charged with intentional manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, premeditated harm, causing harm, premeditated looting, abducting and confiscating a maritime transportation ship, premeditated property damage, infringing on people's liberties and causing pain and suffering. The indictment seeks nine aggravated life sentences in addition to a total 8,578 and 18 thousand plus 32 years prison time for each of the four commanders.

Meanwhile, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's investigation into Major General Aluf Tal Russo's involvement in the violent military operation in still ongoing.

On May 31st, 2010, Israeli armed forces staged a violent raid on the Mavi Marmara ship as well as others in the aid flotilla transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza in international waters. Journalist Cevdet Kılıçlar and eight other volunteers: Furkan Doğan, İbrahim Bilgen, Necdet Yıldırım, Fahri Yaldız, Ali Haydar Bengi, Cengiz Akyüz, Çetin Topçuoğlu and Cengiz Songür were killed in the attack. Over 50 peace activists were wounded.

This is a translation of an article originally written by Ali Oktay.

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