Ramazan Arıtürk, who is looking into trials and the United Nations investigation on behalf of the victims of the bloody Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara boat, held a press conference at Akgün Hotel in Istanbul. He released information about progress of the UN-initiated investigation during the conference that was attended by the IHH executives as well.
The law group formed to protect the rights of the victims has almost concluded its own investigation and will take the case to the International Criminal Court in early October, Arıtürk noted.
The defense lawyer said they were concerned about impartiality of Alvaro Uribe, who is heading the UN commission investigating the incident, and had communicated this concern to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter. The investigative commission that was set up by the UN Human Rights Council interviewed 72 major victim witnesses in Turkey and is currently in Jordan, hearing testimonies from foreign victims, Arıtürk said.
Stolen items named
The lawyer recalled that Israeli soldiers stole personal belongings of the activists on the Mavi Marmara boat that came under a violent Israeli attack while sailing in international waters on 31 May 2010, and called the incident ransacking.
Three Israeli soldiers were interrogated following the theft, which is a small part of the bigger picture, he added.
Arıtürk released a list of the stolen properties and said: “The ships that were towed to Ashdod Port after the raid were clearly ransacked. Israeli soldiers stole personal belongings of the activists after confiscating them. The selling of some of the properties and use of credit cards show that the incident was planned beforehand. The items stolen were named and an inventory of the items was made during the testimonies of the Turkish citizen victims with the Istanbul public prosecutor. The items that could be identified are 269 mobile phones, 87 video cameras, 121 cameras, 100 laptop computers, $130,000, €150,000, £2,000, 35,000 Turkish liras cash money, sound recorders, DVDs, binoculars, diving equipment, and tubes. The high number of stolen items reveals the extent of the incident. We are currently investigating the issue.”