Mavi Marmara trial goes on in silence

Mavi Marmara trial goes on in silence

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Mavi Marmara trial goes on in silence

Unlike the first hearing on Oct 6, the front yard of Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul, where the Mavi Marmara trial is held, was silent yesterday. DHA photo

An Istanbul court continued to hear the Mavi Marmara trial against former Israeli soldiers yesterday, though public and media interest in the trial visibly decreased from the first day of the case, Oct. 6.
Complainant Özlem Şahin Ermiş’s lawyer claimed that it was unlawful for the Istanbul Bar Association to appoint lawyers for the Israeli soldiers held responsible for the killing of nine Turkish citizens while raiding a vessel on international waters in 2010. She demanded that they be dismissed by the court, however, the court board rejected her demand.

Ermiş said, “The ship was bombed by Israeli soldiers,” in her testimony yesterday.

“We were tortured and forced to stay in an airless room. We were stripped with the excuse of a search. We were not given anything to eat or drink. They did not torture us physically, but it was torture indeed,” Ermiş said.

Fatıma Muratibi, another witness who was on board during the deadly raid, said nearly 10 Zodiac boats approached their ship. “The soldiers then came aboard the ship using tear gas bombs. I was hearing gunshots. This continued for nearly three hours,” Muratibi said, adding that she was recording the events with a hand camera, which was taken from her. “There was serious panic on the ship, women had gathered in the same place and there were 10 female journalists like me. Announcements in Turkish and English were being issued during the panic, saying, ‘There are no weapons on board, we are heading to Gaza for humanitarian aid.’ They put everyone in handcuffs,” she said.

Former Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi, former Navy Chief Eliezer Marom, former Military Intelligence Head Amos Yadlin and former Air Force Intelligence Chief Avishai Levy are the Israelis being tried

The hearing started with statements from the families of the killed activists as well as some of the survivors. The case includes citizens from 37 countries. According to the indictment, 450 people are asking for compensation from the four former generals.