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Autopsy: No evidence Turkish ex-president was poisoned

December 14, 2012 10:56

ISTANBUL - An autopsy on the exhumed body of Turkey's President Turgut Ozal, who led the country out of military rule in the 1980s, has found no evidence he had been poisoned, but investigations will continue, prosecutors said.

There have long been rumors that Ozal, who died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, was murdered by militants of the "deep state" - a shadowy group within the Turkish establishment of the day. Ozal had angered some with his efforts to end a Kurdish insurgency and survived an assassination bid in 1988.

But the prosecutor's office summarized the forensic medicine institute report, which it received this week, as saying the exact cause of death could not be determined because no autopsy was conducted immediately after Ozal died.

Media reports had said Ozal's body, dug up in October on the orders of prosecutors investigating suspicions of foul play, revealed traces of insecticides, pesticides and radioactive elements, but prosecutors said the levels of toxins were normal.

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