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19:38, 19 February 2017 Sunday
Update: 12:10, 27 September 2012 Thursday

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Team inspects Özal gravesite before exhumation
Team inspects Özal gravesite before exhumation

A team led by the İstanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Oktay Erdoğan was at Özal's gravesite in İstanbul's Topkapı district on Thursday to carry out a preliminary inspection.

World Bulletin / News Desk

A team inspected the site of the grave of former President Turgut Özal on Thursday in preparation for the exhumation of his body as part of a belated investigation in the cause of the 1993 death of the president.

The case was opened earlier this year, after a number of witnesses spoke of unusual circumstances on the day of the death of the president, who was reported to have suffered from a heart attack. The prosecutor's office recently issued a warrant to exhume the remains of the president for toxicology testing.

A team led by the İstanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Oktay Erdoğan was at Özal's gravesite in İstanbul's Topkapı district on Thursday to carry out a preliminary inspection. Although authorities have not yet given a specific time, Özal's body is expected to be exhumed within the next two weeks.

The approaching expiration of the statute of limitations on the case -- next year, which will mark 20 years since Özal's death -- is pressing prosecutors to take urgent action.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office is also investigating a number of unusual circumstances that came to light following Özal's supposed heart attack. Certain facts -- such as that on the day of his death his in-house doctor and nurse were both out, that staff were not able to start the ambulance due to a mechanical problem, the lack of first aid equipment at the presidential residence and other similar issues -- have led to suspicions surrounding the death of the former president.

In addition, the office is focused on inconsistencies between the statements of Özal's doctor and his family members regarding the lack of an autopsy. Özal's doctor, Cengiz Aslan, claimed that the family of the former president did not request an autopsy, but the Özal family has denied this claim.

In March, President Abdullah Gül ordered the State Audit Institution (DDK) to launch an investigation into the cause of Özal's death. The DDK submitted a report to Gül stating that Özal may not have been the victim of a heart attack and calling on prosecutors to investigate the case.

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Press agenda on February 19
Press agenda on February 19

Here are the main topics World Bulletin’s English Desk plans to cover Sunday Feb. 19, 2017 (coverage may change depending on developing/breaking stories): BAGHDAD Iraqi forces launch an offensive on jihadists defending Mosul's west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. 700 words 0530 GMT by Ammar Karim and Jean-Marc Mojon US-militant-Egypt-prison,2ndlead WASHINGTON The sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian-born cleric linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, dies at 78 in a US prison facility after a long battle with diabetes and coronary artery disease. 650 words moved by Maggy Donaldson. File Picture Ukraine-Russia-conflict,WRAP MOSCOW A truce between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine will come into force Monday, Moscow and Kiev say, though some separatists are already labelling it unfeasible. 500 words moved by Anais Llobet Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,WRAP BERLIN Hungary's "On Body and Soul", a love story set in a slaughterhouse, wins the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year. 700 words moved by Deborah Cole. Picture. Video Also moved: Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-prizes,FACTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,POINTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-winners,CHRONO -- ASIA -- NKorea-Malaysia-diplomacy-community,SCENE KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's only North Korean restaurant promises a glimpse into life in the reclusive state but it has been shuttered since news broke of the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un's brother, with security guards turning customers away. 650 words 0600 GMT by Elizabeth Law. Picture. Video -- AMERICAS -- US-politics-Trump-Melania,lead MELBOURNE, Florida First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, breaks with form, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida. 600 words moved by Michael Mathes with Stephanie Griffith in Washington. Picture. Video. US-media-politics-technology WASHINGTON As President Donald Trump warns of a crackdown on US government leaks to media, interest is growing in technology tools that allow sources to share information anonymously. 750 words moved by Rob Lever Venezuela-politics-opposition-US CARACAS Venezuela and the United States lock horns again over political prisoners held by Caracas, including over the detention of a jailed opposition leader whose supporters took to the streets of the capital to demand his release.