World to watch Mavi Marmara trial
Prominent figures and thousands of people will be in Çağlayan on 6 Nov.
Palestine, Middle East, Turkey 05.11.2012

The Mavi Marmara trial that is set to be held at Istanbul Çağlayan Courthous on 6 Nov. will bring together jurists, politicians, journalists, and activists from all over the world.

The first hearing for the criminal case into the assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and Mavi Marmara vessel will be held in Istanbul on 6 Nov. IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which is the organizer of Freedom to Gaza Flotilla and Mavi Marmara, has been carrying out significant work ahead of the trial. Hundreds of lawyers from around the globe are attending the trial as plaintiffs, and politicians, journalists, and activists from dozens of countries are attending as observers.   

Media companies of dozens of countries from America to South Africa, from Europe to China have applied to IHH to follow the first session of the trial.

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There are world-famous names among the people who have announced they will be at Çağlayan Courthouse on 6 Nov. for the Mavi Marmara trial. Former US army colonel Ann Wright, British war correspondent Yvonne Ridley, and Joe Meadors, former US Navy signalman, who survived Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 are going to attend the trial on 6 Nov. as complainant-victim.   

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The first hearing of the Mavi Marmara trial will begin at Çağlayan Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 6 and it will continue for three days with breaks. Flotilla passengers from Turkey and other parts of the world, relatives of the Mavi Marmara martyrs and their lawyers will be in attendance at the trial. The trial will be closely followed by human rights observers from Turkey and abroad, media members, jurists and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

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Additional inquiry on Israeli general Tal Russo

A case was filed at the Istanbul 7th High Criminal Court on May 28, 2012 with file number 2012/264 against four senior rank Israeli commanders regarding the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla after an investigation by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. As the investigation goes on for other commanders and soldiers whose identification details could not be obtained, an additional inquiry has been launched regarding Aluf Tal Russo, the commander of the IDF Southern Command upon a complaint filed with Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.  

The inquiry on Tal Russo, who is accused of planning and executing the bloody operation on the Mavi Marmara vessel from the command center, is expected to be completed before 6 Nov. and the Israeli general be tried with other suspects. There are 490 complainants and victims in the case including flotilla passengers from 37 countries and relatives of the martyrs, and former Israeli Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Naval Forces commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, Israel's military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and Air Forces Intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi will be tried as “fugitive suspects.” 

Some of the names to attend the trial:

American Navy vessel USS Liberty was sent to the Mediterranean in 1967 to observe the Arab-Israeli War, but came under Israeli assault from sea and air while in international waters. Joe Meadors, who was on the ship as personnel of US Naval Forces, was one of the marines who survived the attack that killed 34 and wounded 171. Meadors was among the passengers of Sfedoni vessel in the Freedom Flotilla initiative of 2012 and witnessed a similar attack for a second time. 

Ann Wright, former US Army colonel who resigned from her post in the army in protest of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has since become a symbol for anti-war movement and human rights advocacy, was a passenger on Challenger 1, one of the vessels of the Freedom Flotilla.  

British journalist Yvonne Ridley is best known for travelling to Afghanistan in 2003 as war correspondent and being captured by the Taliban. Converting to Islam after returning to her country, Ridley resumed voicing the problems of disadvantaged countries such as Palestine and Iraq, and contributing to resolving these problems. She lastly tried to travel to Gaza on board the Mavi Marmara ship.    

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