Probe into the assassinations of three Kurdish women in Paris reopened

(Left to right) Leyla Söylemez, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan.

A probe into the murder of three pro-PKK (the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party) Kurdish political activists Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez in Paris has reopened upon the appeal of lawyers.

On January 9, 2013, the PKK’s founding member Sakine Cansız, Kurdistan Information Bureau (KNK) Paris representative Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, who was a member of Kurdish youth movement, were assassinated in their Paris bureau. Suspect Ömer Güney died in prison on Dec. 17, 2016, just a few weeks before the trial. The trial was planned to start on Jan. 23, 2017 in Paris High Criminal Court. However, the case was closed over Güney’s demise under suspicious circumstances.

Despite the hitman, Ömer Güney, was the only suspect in remand, the investigation had found some evidences that the Turkish Intelligence Organization (MİT) had a role in Paris assassinations. The probe had not identified the perpetrators who gave the order, however signs showed links to Ankara.

Stating that the court verdict to end the probe on Paris assassinations can only be applied to the demised suspect, lawyer Antoine Comte had said that “Ömer Güney was merely a hitman for the very real attempt by the Turkish Intelligence to execute Kurdish militants in Europe. Political murders and overlooking them cannot be acceptable in France.”

According to pro-Kurdish news sources, in the investigation file of the case, it was stated that suspect Ömer Güney might have perpetrated the triple murder on instructions from an outside structure that extended to Turkish intelligence MİT, and that the case did not progress as Turkey did not provide any information as to whether Güney committed the murders with a direct order from MİT or in relation with a group within MİT.

In a statement after Güney’s death, the families’ lawyer Antoine Comte said: “Yes, Ömer Güney is dead. But this needs to be understood: There are accomplices and those who ordered the murder on a political level in the case. There are serious elements in the case that show the Turkish state as the party to give the order. Wherever these people are, they should answer to French justice. We have the names of those involved in the incident. The French prosecution clearly accused the Turkish intelligence services. It was the first time that a state was shown as a murder suspect in a political murder.”

In February 2017, families of three killed Kurdish women filed charges for the case to be reopened. The families expected to ensure the identification and trial of the people who ordered the executions. According to an AFP report, a new investigation has been opened into the murder of three Kurdish women after the closure of the case in January, against which families had appealed.

The report states that the investigation has been launched by an anti-terror prosecutor and will be carried out by Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate (SDAT). The AFP report also quotes families’ lawyer Comte as saying that the reopening of the investigation is a great consolation for the families.

April 29, 2017

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