Turkish NGO demands ministry open trial on Mavi Marmara incident
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 4/22/2011 12:00:00 AM |
The Turkish Justice Ministry must open a case into the killings of nine activists killed last year on board an aid flotilla to Gaza, an NGO says.
The Turkish Justice Ministry must open a case into the killings of nine activists killed last year on board an aid flotilla to Gaza, the members of the Mavi Marmara Freedom and Solidarity Foundation, a nongovernmental organization, have said.
Eight Turks and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010, while the ship and five others were en route to Gaza to break Israel’s blockade against the territory.
A press statement read in front of Sultanahmet Courthouse in Istanbul on Friday said volunteer lawyers had attempted to quicken the judicial process but after the passage of a year, no action has yet been taken by Istanbul prosecutors. Even though the testimonies, finalized forensic medicine reports, photographs, video recordings, crime scene investigation reports and all other evidence are already in the case file, the Justice Ministry appears to be lengthening the process, the statement said.
Asked about the case’s relation to the International Criminal Court, or ICC, lawyer Cihat Gökdemir said the prosecutor was still inspecting the file.
“Our worry is that the judiciary in Turkey seems to be waiting for the result of the inspection at the ICC,” the lawyer said. “We expect a step to be taken without waiting for the ICC.”
Turkey’s position on the results of a pending ICC investigation into the flotilla incident remains ambiguous because the country is not a party to the Rome Statute that established the international court.