If the four commanders do not come to Turkey to testify as part of the trial, Interpol may take action against them.
A news report written by journalist Osman Sağırlı in Türkiye daily includes important developments about the Mavi Marmara trial.
An important development took place in the Mavi Marmara trial, held at İstanbul 7th High Criminal Court, which was launched after Israel attacked humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara in international waters on May 31, 2010 and martyred nine peace activists.
The case against four Israeli commanders, former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Leiutenant General Gavriel Ashkenazi, Naval Forces Commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, Air Forces Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Avishai Levi and Head of IDF Military Intelligence Directorate Maj. Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, was filed by 490 victims of the attack. The suspects did not attend the hearings held on 6 November, 2012 and 21 February 2013.
Following this, the court ordered for the attendance of the suspects in the following hearing. It has later emerged that notices were sent to the four Israeli commanders by Turkish Justice Ministry’s International Law and Foreign Relations Unit following the court’s order.
Note sent to Israel as a “suspect”
In the note sent to Israel by Turkish Foreign Ministry through Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv, it was said that the victims of the Mavi Marmara attack filed criminal charges against the Israeli commanders and the charges against the Israeli commanders in the case indictment were explained.
The note recalled that nine aggravated life sentences are sought for each of the Israeli commanders on charges of instigating premeditated murder, and up to 18,032 year-long jail sentence for willfully 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 freedom of expression and instigation violent crime.
The note also demanded that Israeli commanders Ashkenazi, Marom, Yadlin and Levi attend the hearings of the trial scheduled for May 20-21 and testify as suspects.
All these correspondence took place in line with the European Convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters, which had been signed by both Turkey and Israel. Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv told Israeli Foreign Ministry that İstanbul 7th High Criminal Court wants the transfer of judicial documents concerning the 2012/264 numbered trial to the relevant judicial body of Israel.
The documents of the correspondence were submitted to the “incoming documents” section of the Israeli Foreign Ministry on March 19, 2013.
Turkish Justice Ministry’s International Law and Foreign Affairs Unit also sent the relevant documents of the correspondence to İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to be added to 2012/264 numbered dossier of the İstanbul 7th High Criminal Court.
Notice reached its destination
Writing a letter to Justice Ministry’s International Law and Foreign Affairs Unit, Turkish Foreign Ministry said that a notice about the Israeli commanders reached its destination. The ministry also sent a document showing that the notice was received by Israeli Foreign Ministry on March 19, 2013.
Interpol may issue red bulletin for generals
If Israeli commanders refuse to attend the hearings of the trial, the İstanbul court could issue a detention or arrest warrant for the commanders. Later, the court may ask Interpol to issue a red bulletin for the Israeli commanders.
One of the lawyers in the Mavi Marmara trial Uğur Yıldırım said sending of notices to Israeli commanders is a very important development concerning the course of the trial. Yıldırım said they don’t expect the commanders to join the hearings of the trial when statements made by Israel are taken into consideration.
“If the suspects insist on not attending the trial despite the notices sent to them, the relevant articles of the Turkish Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK) will be implemented for them,” he said.
The court may issue detention or arrest warrants for the Israeli commanders. It can also ask Interpol to issue red bulletins for the generals through Interpol’s branch in Turkey.
Israeli commanders committed the crimes they are charged with on Mavi Marmara ship, in other words in Turkish soil. So, if they refuse to attend court hearings due to a crime they committed in Turkey, it is possible for the court to issue detention or arrest warrants for them. If these steps are taken, Israel and other member countries of Interpol will need to extradite the suspects in line with the European Convention on Extradition.