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'Turkish families request ICC flotilla investigation'

October 9, 2010 10:43

'Guardian': Lawyers of those injured and killed in May 30 flotilla send letter to ICC saying "overwhelming case" for prosecution exists.

mavi marmara

mavi marmara 311 AP. (photo credit:AP)

Turkish lawyers representing Turks injured or killed in the May 30th flotilla incident have written to International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo requesting a formal investigation into the event, The Guardian reported on Friday. According to the report, the letter to Ocampo claimed there is an "overwhelming case" for prosecution.

A lawyer for one of the Turkish firms representing those injured said, "The attack on the flotilla occurred in international waters, which directly violated many parts on international law as well as international public and criminal law," said the Guardian report.

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The move came a month after a 56-page UN report on the flotilla incident was published in which Israel was accused of what the report called, willful killing and torture. It claimed that there was "clear evidence to support prosecutions." Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the report "biased and distorted."

A government spokesperson reiterated that the flotilla is already being investigated by Israel with the involvement on international observers, as well as the UN investigation. Speaking of a potential ICC investigation, he said that "further investigations are redundant and unnecessary, and will contribute to further alienation between otherwise friendly countries," according to the Guardian report.

The ICC only has jurisdiction in countries that are party to the Rome statute, which established the court. Israel is not party to the statute, but the Turkish lawyers said that the fact that the Mavi Marmara was flying the flag of the Comoros Islands and Turkey's involvement with the flotilla give the court sufficient jurisdiction, The Guardian reported.

According to the Guardian report, the letter from the Turkish lawyers said, "We are of the view that the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla involves crimes which fall unambiguously within the jurisdiction of the court."
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