Israel slams Turkey over flotilla 'show trial'

Israel slams Turkey over flotilla 'show trial'

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Tue, 06/11/2012 - 16:38
AFP

The Israeli foreign ministry on Tuesday slammed Turkey for carrying out what it called a "show trial" of four top former Israeli commanders over a deadly 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

"This is not a trial but a show trial and has nothing to do with law and justice," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.

"The so-called accused have not been notified or informed in any way that they are going to face charges or what the nature of the charges is. They haven't been given even a symbolic chance to have legal representation," he added.

"It's a propaganda showcase. The government of Turkey, if it really wanted to do something about this issue, would engage with Israel."

Prosecutors at the Istanbul trial are seeking life sentences for four Israeli commanders over a deadly maritime assault in the Mediterranean Sea that severely damaged ties between Israel and Turkey.

Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in a flotilla dispatched by Turkish relief agency IHH to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, on May 31, 2010, leaving eight Turkish activists and one American activist dead.

The defendants being tried in absentia are former military chief of staff Gaby Ashkenazi, former navy chief Eliezer Marom, former military intelligence head Amos Yadlin and former air force intelligence chief Avishai Levy.

Last year, an Israeli probe ruled that the raid did not violate international law, in a finding that Turkey said lacked credibility.