Court charges Israeli officers for deadly raid

Court charges Israeli officers for deadly raid

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Court charges Israeli officers for deadly raid

This file photo shows Pro-Palestinian activists greeting Mavi Marmara ship. DAILY NEWS photo

A Turkish court has formally pressed charges against members of Israel’s military for the killing of nine people aboard the Mavi Marmara in 2010, demanding nine consecutive life terms for four commanders.

A court in Istanbul voted unanimously yesterday to approve an indictment against Israel’s former military
chief, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, along with the heads of its Navy, Air Force and military intelligence, the Associated Press reported. It has said they face nine consecutive life terms in prison for “inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing.”

At the same time, the court demanded between 8,578 and 18,032 years in prison for the commanders for a host of other crimes related to the 2010 incident, in which nine Turkish activists were killed.

The commanders are unlikely to stand trial in Turkey, but the court might issue an order for their arrest if they are convicted in absentia, Anatolia news agency reported.

The date for the trial has not yet been announced, but it will be held in the absence of the accused as Israel has ruled out any prosecution of those who took part in the attack. The 144-page indictment called for nine life sentences to be given to each of the four commanders, including Ashkenazi, the former commander-in-chief of the Israeli Navy, Eliezer Marom; the former chief of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin; and the former intelligence chief of the Israeli Air Force, Avishai Lavy, for their involvement in the raid.

The ex-commanders are also accused of “attempted murder” for the wounds that put another activist, Oğuz Süleyman Söylemez, into a persistent vegetative state. Nine Turks were killed by Israeli commandos aboard an aid flotilla that was attempting to break a blockade on Gaza.