DHAKA: A Turkish court on Monday formally pressed charges against members of Israel`s military for the killing of nine activists aboard a Turkish ship trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2010, Turkey’s state-run news agency said.
The court in Istanbul voted unanimously to approve an indictment against Israel’s former military chief Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, along with the heads of its navy, air force and military intelligence, the Anadolu Agency said.
They face nine consecutive life terms in prison for ‘inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing’, the agency added.
It is unlikely Israeli military members will be brought before Turkey’s judicial system, since Israel does not regard them as criminals.
If they are convicted in absentia at the end of the trial process, which could take months if not years, the Turkish court could issue an order for their arrest, but such a move would be symbolic and not binding.
Israeli officials had no immediate comment.
BDST: 2123 HRS, MAY 29, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor