‘Just Because a Suspect Has Died the Turkish State Cannot Escape Trial’: Families of Paris Assassinations Victims

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A joint statement by the families of PKK founding member Sakine Cansiz, KNK member Fidan Dogan and Kurdish Youth Movement member Leyla Saylemez who were murdered on 9th January 2013 in Paris.

We were informed on 16.12.2016 Friday night by our lawyers that “according to the latest medical report of suspect Omer Guney he was fatally ill and for this reason his lawyers had requested his release and that this request would be heard at the court on Monday 19.12.2016. As the families of the murdered we convened on Saturday and discussed this situation. As we were assessing the situation we received news that the suspect had died.

The inquest following the massacre lasted for more than 2 years and ended in May 2015 with the indictment being presented to the court on 9 July 2015. Despite the inquest’s completion mid 2015 it was never revealed when the case would be brought to court. After a long period it was decided that the first hearing of the case would take place at the Paris High Court on 5 December 2016. Following this, in June 2016 the date was changed to between 23 January – 23 February 2017, without any reason for the change. Up to this point things can be viewed as the French judiciary’s slow and routine process.

However, in light of the above and what we have experienced, as the families of the 3 murdered women we would like to ask the following:

Despite the fact that his health issues were known from the day he was detained and experts constantly said “he has health problems,” why was his case not brought to court?

Why did those who knew of his health issues prolong the investigation when apart from a few official documents no other documents were added to the file after the first two years?

Why when the investigation had ended mid 2015 was the hearing delayed until January 2017. Was the 5 December date postponed to 23 January 2017 on purpose?

The incident, as the file and indictment clearly state, was an organized crime by the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) with not just a lone perpetrator. Despite all the information collated why weren’t other suspects found and a file with a single perpetrator created.

As the families of the victims we want answers to these questions.

We constantly insisted and asked that the powers behind this massacre be revealed. The Kurdish people and families of the victims raised their voices for “justice and illumination” and requested from the French judiciary to carry out their responsibility. We made the necessary warnings to the relevant official political institutions to prevent a cover-up of this massacre for political and economic interests.

We made countless warnings that the murder suspect could be eliminated. We repeated these warnings on numerous occasions. Unfortunately we were proved right in the end.

It seems that this scenario was written a long time ago and put into practice. If the hearings had taken place not only Omer Guney but also the Turkish State, Turkish MIT and Turkish Government would have been convicted. French authorities are responsible for the current situation.

As the families of the victims we are going to pursue this file and case. The perpetrator was not alone. The other perpetrators have to be revealed and tried. Just because a suspect has been eliminated or died the Turkish State cannot escape trial.

We would like to make public opinion aware of this situation and request support from everyone who wants justice.

Respectfully,

Metin Cansiz, Sakine Cansiz’s brother
Hasan Dogan,Fidan Dogan’s father
Cumali Saylemez, Leyla Saylemez’s father

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