I$raHell Must Be Held Accountable

NOVANEWS

Citizens from 20 countries came to Istanbul to hear testimony on March 27, 2014 against Zionist officials and to offer their support to the victims on board the Mavi Marmara.

Israelis Attack the MV Mavi Marmara in international waters on May 31, 2010

Israeli commandos Attack the MV Mavi Marmara in international waters on May 31, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rabia Yurt, Member, Legal Team +90 543 498 0014
Zumrut Sonmez, IHH Foreign Media Coordinator +90 530 641 7888

Time: 10:00-11:30, March 28, 2014
Location: IHH headquarters, Kudus Conference Room. Buyuk Karaman Cad. Taylasan
Sok. No 3. Fatih/Istanbul.

Internationals from 20 countries came to Istanbul to hear testimony on March 27, 2014 against Israeli officials and to offer their support to the victims on board the Mavi Marmara. Many of these supporters had also been attacked on other flotilla boats; suffering wounds, unlawful detention, torture and theft of money, credit cards and possessions at the hands of the Israeli militants.

“The real purpose of these hearings is to hold Israel accountable,” said American, David Schermerhorn, passenger on board Challenger 1. “In the past, Israel has committed horrendous actions against Palestinians and their supporters.”

We are hopeful that the court in Turkey will issue arrest warrants for the Israeli officials who ordered the raid on six civilian boats in international waters, and that these warrants will be turned over and executed by Interpol.

Proceedings are ongoing or will be considered in the UK, Spain and South Africa, and prosecutors have been approached by passengers in other countries who were attacked on May 31, 2010.

Mavi Marmara in Istanbul harbor after her return to Istanbul, December 26, 2010

Mavi Marmara in Istanbul harbor after her return to Istanbul, December 26, 2010

Passengers will be available to talk to the media after the press conference, where the next stage of the hearings will be announced. The UK, Spain, Greece, US, Canada, Sweden and France are all represented, as well as passengers from the Middle East and Far East.

5th hearing of Mavi Marmara trial

Israeli armed forces carried out an attack against Mavi Marmara, which was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and other ships in the Freedom Flotilla as the flotilla was travelling in the international waterson 31 May, 2010. Nine humanitarian activists Furkan Doğan, Cevdet Kılıçlar, İbrahim Bilgen, Necdet Yıldırım, Fahri Yaldız, Ali Haydar Bengi, Cengiz Akyüz, Çetin Topçuoğlu, Cengiz Songür and journalist Cevdet Kılıçlar were killed in the attack while more than 50 passengers were injured. Israel illegally violated the passengers’ right to communicate and the passengers were illegally jailed by the country.

Following the Mavi Marmara attack, families of the martyrs and other passengers on board the ship began a major legal struggle against Israel. The four accused in the trial are former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Gen. Rau Gavriel Ashkenazi, Naval Forces Commander Eliezer Alfred Maron, Israel’s Chief of Israeli Intelligence Amos Yadlin and Air Forces Intelligence Director Avishay Levi.

Istanbul Chief Prosecutor in Turkey prepared the indictment on 29 May 2012, as a result of the attack on the flotilla, and have requested the following charges to include: “Willful killing”, “attempt of willful killing”, “intentionally causing serious injury to body or health”, “plundering”, “hijacking or seizing maritime vessels”, “intentionally causing damage to property”, “restriction of people’s freedom and instigating violent crime” for each and every person involved in the attack, which will add to a total of thousands of years to the final prison sentence.

Evidence has been shown that in order for the attacks to go ahead, the direct order had come from well-known senior high ranking officials. Statements in Israeli media and the evidence given during the Turkell Commission admissions have formed part of the court case against four senior military officials that were presented to the Istanbul Magistrates Court for “inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing.” The four officials, Israel’s former chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gavriel Ashkenazi, along with former Israeli Navy head Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, former Israel Air Force intelligence chief Avishai Levy and former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin have been served tried as escapee defendants.

The first hearing was held on the 6th, 7th and 9th November 2012, further hearings were held on the 21st February 2013, 21st May 2013 and 10th October 2013.

During the hearings, the court heard from 50 foreign witnesses from USA, Bahrain, Belgium, Algeria, Indonesia, South Afrida, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Syria and Greece. There were a total of 195 people from Turkey who have suffered as a consequence of the flotilla raid in the hearings.

Meaning of the case filed in Turkey

In consideration of the fact that both Turkey and Israel signed European Convention on Extradition (SİDAS), if the İstanbul court convicts the suspects, Israel will need to extradite them.

In addition, the Turkey branch Interpol will be able to ask the General Secretariat of Interpol to issue red notice for the suspects for the execution of the rulings of the İstanbul 7th High Criminal Court or arrest warrants issued by the court earlier. If these happen, Israel will need to extradite the suspects to Turkey.

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