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Turkish court orders arrest of Israeli commanders over 2010 raid

English.news.cn   2014-05-27 01:15:35

ISTANBUL, May 26 (Xinhua) -- A Turkish court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for the Israeli Defense Forces' former chief of general staff and other top commanders for a 2010 raid on a Turkish ship that resulted in the death of nine Turkish citizens, private Dogan news agency reported.

The Istanbul Seventh Court of Serious Crimes requested an Interpol Red Notice for arresting former Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as Israel's former Naval Forces Commander Eliezer Alfred Marom, former Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlinir and former Air Forces Intelligence head Avishai Levi, all of whom have been tried in absentia.

The court argued that an arrest warrant was necessary for legal procedures, saying the suspects have neither attended the trial nor responded to an invitation sent to them through the related department of the Turkish Justice Ministry.

Turkish prosecutors have already demanded life sentences for the four Israeli former generals for their involvement in the raid on the Mavi Marmara, a ship participating in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in 2010 that attempted to break Israel's long-standing naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

On Friday night, a Turkish citizen, who was injured during the raid and has been receiving treatment for four years since the attack, died at a hospital, raising the death toll to 10.

Ties between Turkey and Israel were strained after the raid but improved after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a rare apology to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the incident, which was brokered by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Since March 2013 Israel and Turkey have been negotiating a compensation deal for the families of the dead and injured.

"We have reached the most promising stage on the deal ... (But) we have not put the final touches," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said in February.

On Monday, Bulent Yildirim, head of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation which owns the Mavi Marmara, said the verdict had been postponed because of an upcoming deal between Turkey and Israel.

It was reported in early February that under a draft agreement between the two sides, Israel will pay 20 million U.S. dollars in compensation to the bereaved Turkish families. The negotiations also touched upon Israel's demand for Turkey to relinquish all lawsuits against Israeli soldiers and officers involved in the raid.

However, some Turkish lawyers overseeing the raid case criticized the reconciliation process, saying the issue of compensation cannot be part of any bargain exonerating the Israeli soldiers involved in the raid in return.

Editor: yan
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