Sus­pect in Paris mur­der of Kurd rebels dies

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

PARIS: A Turk­ish na­tional charged with mur­der­ing three fe­male Kur­dish rebels in Paris died Satur­day, a French ju­di­cial source said, be­fore his case came to trial.

Omer Guney died at a hospi­tal in the French cap­i­tal fol­low­ing a bat­tle with a se­ri­ous brain ill­ness, the source said. He was the only sus­pect sent for trial, sched­uled to start next month, on charges of “mur­der in re­la­tion to a ter­ror­ist en­ter­prise” over the killings of the three women, in­clud­ing Sakine Can­siz.

Can­siz-one of the founders of the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Party (PKK) was mur­dered along with Fi­dan Do­gan, 28, and 24-year-old Leyla Soyle­mez. The women’s bod­ies were found in the early hours of Jan­uary 10, 2013 at a Kur­dish in­for­ma­tion cen­tre. They had been shot in the head and neck. Guney de­nied in­volve­ment in the killings, though in­ves­ti­ga­tors said they had sur­veil­lance footage of him en­ter­ing the crime scene and one of the vic­tim’s DNA was al­legedly found on his coat.

Lawyers for the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies spoke of their anger at be­ing “de­nied a pub­lic trial which they had been wait­ing for al­most four years”. They ex­pressed their “con­ster­na­tion at see­ing France, one again, in­ca­pable of judg­ing a po­lit­i­cal crime com­mit­ted on French ter­ri­tory by for­eign se­cret ser­vices”.

Guney had been de­scribed by rel­a­tives as a Turk­ish ul­tra­na­tion­al­ist who in­fil­trated the PKK in or­der to spy on it, with one source say­ing he was tasked with “elim­i­nat­ing PKK cadres”.

In Jan­uary 2014 the Turk­ish in­tel­li­gence ser­vices of­fi­cially de­nied any role in the killings. French in­ves­ti­ga­tors had con­cluded that mem­bers of the Turk­ish na­tional in­tel­li­gence agency MIT were “im­pli­cated” in the triple mur­der, ac­cord­ing to an in­formed source. How­ever, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors had been un­able to es­tab­lish whether the ser­vice spon­sored the hit or whether agents were act­ing on their own ini­tia­tive.

The PKK launched its in­sur­gency against the Turk­ish state in 1984, ini­tially fight­ing for Kur­dish in­de­pen­dence al­though it now fo­cuses on greater au­ton­omy and rights for the coun­try’s largest eth­nic mi­nor­ity.

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