Monday, May 26, 2014
Turkish court orders arrest of Israeli commanders who were involved in raid on Mavi Marmara in 2010
A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of four Israeli commanders who were allegedly involved in the raid on the the Mavi Marmara aid ship off Gaza on 31 March 2010. The Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes also decided May 26 to request an Interpol Red Notice for the arrest of former Israeli Chief of Staff, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, former Naval Forces Cmdr. Eliezer Alfred Marom, former Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and former Air Forces Intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi, who are all being tried in absentia.
The court argued that an arrest warrant had become necessary for the legal procedure as the defendants had neither attended the trial nor responded to an invitation sent to them through the related department of the Turkish Justice Ministry.
No one at the Israeli embassy in Ankara was immediately available for comment.
An Israeli official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, described the court’s decision as a "ridiculous provocation." "If this is the message that the Turks want to send to Israel, it was perfectly well understood," said the official, declining to elaborate further on what this meant for the reconciliation process.
Ther prosecution demanded life sentences for the four for their role in the raid, following a complaint filed by 33 relatives of the Turkish citizens who were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara.The court pressed formal charges in May 2012 with the first trial held in November 2012. Lawyers overseeing the case criticized the recent reconciliation process between Turkey and Israel last week.Israeli forces killed ten Turkish activists ((one of them died this month May 2014 after havening been in a coma since the day of the attack in 2010). Turkey repeatedly demanded the country issue an apology and pay compensation for the deaths.