Permission granted for probe into ex-operative

Permission granted for probe into ex-operative

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Permission granted for probe into ex-operative

A suspect in the alleged handover of two Syrians is taken to the courthouse. DHA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has allowed a judicial probe into a former National Intelligence Organization (MİT) operative who allegedly handed over a Syrian army defector to Syria, an official from Erdoğan’s office said.

The decision was the first since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) rushed an amendment requiring the prime minister’s permission for investigations into MİT operatives. The bill was hastily drawn up to block a prosecutor’s move to question MİT chief Hakan Fidan and four other officials on suspicion that MİT collaborated with Kurdish separatists.

The prime ministry official said the permission pertained to an operative who had been sacked from MİT over the disappearance of Lt. Col. Hussein al-Harmoush from the refugee camps in the border province of Hatay. “If there is a request for other MİT officials as well, it must still be under consideration,” he said. According to media reports, prosecutors are seeking permission to investigate several other MİT officials regarding the affair.

Prosecutors in Adana said last month they were investigating the alleged handover of two Syrians – al-Harmoush and Mustafa Kassum – to the Syrian authorities. The two dissidents were “forcefully taken from their shelters” in Hatay and handed over to Syrian forces, the statement said. The operative who allegedly lured al-Harmoush out of the camp, identified in the media only as Ö.S., was sacked from MİT in early February. Al-Harmoush’s relatives, have said they believed the colonel is being held in Iran, despite reports he has been executed.