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'JİTEM' existence confirmed by Avcı

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 8/5/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Former Police Chief Hanefi Avcı told a court Friday that he was witness to three incidents involving JİTEM, an alleged clandestine intelligence unit within the gendarmerie whose existence has never been confirmed by the military.

Former Police Chief Hanefi Avcı told a court Friday that he was witness to three incidents involving JİTEM, an alleged clandestine intelligence unit within the gendarmerie whose existence has never been confirmed by the military.

 “There was the bombing of a lawyer’s vehicle in the district of Ofis [in the southeastern province of Şırnak]. An escaping vehicle was stopped after that incident. An announcement was made that those inside the vehicle had introduced themselves as [members of] JİTEM,” Avcı said Friday during court hearing in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

“I saw this was where things were headed while investigating the case of Vedat Aydın, too. I told this first to the Susurluk Commission. Then there was an incident [where] a newspaper office was bombed,” Avcı told the court.

Aydın was a pro-Kurdish politician allegedly murdered by JİTEM in 1991 while the Susurluk Commission began investigation the alleged illegal web of relationships between the government, the military and organized crime after 1996. A former police chief in the western province of Eskişehir who also served in the southeast during the incidents in question, Avcı is currently being tried in the Ergenekon probe as well as in the Revolutionary Headquarters case, according to Doğan news agency, or DHA.

JİTEM has been accused of being behind dozens of unsolved murders, predominantly in the 1990s.

Seven suspects are on trial for murders committed in Şırnak between 1993 and 1995.

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